Silverlight powered Bing 2.0 on its way this month?

Friday 11 September 2009

That’s the message coming out of yesterdays annual company meeting at Microsoft. Several Microsoft employees tweeted that Microsoft’s improvements to Bing maps is “exciting” with one going as far as to claim “BING 2.0 terrific !! watch out guys ! bing + silverlight in maps = amazing !! goodbye google”.
One Microsoft tweet-aholic claims that the company is set to release the update next week whilst others claim it will be ready at some stage in September. According to Mary Jo Foley, who spotted the twitter updates, company officials would neither confirm or deny the reports, claiming “we’re very excited about some of the new Bing features set to roll out over the next few months, but have nothing to announce today”. Mini-microsoft, an anonymous insider, confirmed the Bing 2.0 demo, claiming it was “map goodness”
Microsoft used the annual company meeting as a place to rally the troops and provide product demos to nearly 20,000 Microsoft staff members. Company officials also unveiled the first Windows 7 commercial at the event yesterday in downtown Seattle.
Source : Click here.

Stop Windows from Rebooting After Automatic Updates

Friday 11 September 2009

You step away from the computer for a little while, and when you come back, all your windows and work are gone. Why? Because Windows downloaded some updates and took it upon itself to reboot without your permission.
Gah! This happened to me just yesterday, and I lost some in-progress work as a result. (Note to Microsoft: beyond inexcusable, guys. Beyond inexcusable.)
Actually, I’d instructed the Windows Update pop-up to postpone rebooting for four hours–and just happened to be away from the PC when that timer ran out. Unlucky me.
There’s a ridiculously easy fix for this, and I’m kicking myself for not applying it sooner. If you’ve been plagued by the same problem, here’s what you need to do:
1. In Vista, click Start, type Windows Update, and then hit Enter. In XP, head to the Control Panel and seek out Windows Update.
2. Click the Change Settings option at left. (That’s where it appears in Vista; not entirely sure about XP.)
3. Change the setting to Download updates but let me choose whether to install them.
4. Click OK.
That’s all there is to it. Windows may still nag you about installing updates, but at least it won’t reboot without your permission.
Source : Click here.

Microsoft pushes Silverlight for HD video

Thursday 10 September 2009
Microsoft is taking a stand as a leader in HD video distribution, announcing Tuesday a new product for hi-def streaming via the Internet and announcing Wednesday an overseas partnership for expanded media downloads.

The platform? Silverlight, Microsoft’s rival to the ubiquitous Adobe Flash.
Microsoft on Tuesday introduced Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 3.0, which can stream video at 1080p quality and logs data in real time for analysis. Built using Silverlight 3, IIS Media Services streams video in Microsoft’s proprietary format as well as H.264 and ACC, according to a news release.
The software giant released the IIS Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol and Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) under the Microsoft Community Promise, which allows others in the industry to use the technology without fear of being sued by Microsoft.
A number of media companies, mostly in Europe but including NBC Sports, are adopting the technology, Microsoft said. They will be showing it off this weekend at the International Broadcasting Conference in Amsterdam.
At the conference, Microsoft will also unveil features included in Silverlight 4, which is expected to be released sometime in 2010. Microsoft released Silverlight 3 this past July.
Live Smooth Streaming, the cardinal feature of IIS Media Services 3.0, was new to Silverlight 3. Many broadcasters used the technology, then in beta, to stream events such as the Tour de France and the Michael Jackson memorial, the release states.

Silverlight 4 also will support offline PlayRight digital-rights management (DRM), Microsoft said.
“These features will enable movie studios and retailers to provide the same rich interactive experiences via digital copy and Internet distribution as consumers get with DVD or Blu-ray,” the release states.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced a partnership with U.K. online retailer Tesco to start offering HD video downloads that include special features. These “virtual DVDs” can include, among other Web-enhanced features, movie trailers that update automatically via the Internet.
“Tesco is excited to be the first retailer to partner with a broad range of major movie studios to offer this next-generation movie experience,” Rob Salter, Tesco’s category director for entertainment, said in another news release. “For the first time, consumers will be able to enjoy a DVD equivalent experience with digital movies, which paves the way for more advanced viewing experiences enabled through Silverlight.
“This is just the beginning. In the future we expect to offer our customers innovative digital solutions that far exceed the DVD experience and deliver exclusive content, Web events and services wherever and whenever they want them.”
Source : Click here.

Cell phones and radiation: 10 best and 10 worst

Thursday 10 September 2009

How much radiation does your cell phone emit? It’s easy to find out the answer thanks to the Environmental Working Group’s new online guide to cell phone emissions.
The non-profit research and advocacy group ranked over 1,000 different cell phones according to radiation levels. It looked at the publicly available, but difficult to find, specific absorption rate (SAR) for each phone. SAR is a measure of how much radiation is absorbed by the body when the phone is sending a signal to the network. (Your phone only emits radiation when you talk or text.)
The jury is still out on whether cell phone radiation is harmful to human health, but it certainly won’t hurt to limit your exposure to cell phone radiation when you can. “The data is still conflicting and the science isn’t settled,” says Jane Houlihan, research director at EWG. “But there is enough evidence now that it makes sense for people to take personal action while the teams of scientists and health agencies sort through the data.”
Houlihan also points out that health agencies in six different countries are warning people to cut their exposure to cell phone radiation, particularly when it comes to children.
Taking personal action can be as simple as adding radiation emissions to the list of criteria you use when purchasing a new cell phone, especially when it’s for your child.
How much of a difference can choosing a low-radiation phone make? High-radiation cell phones on EWG’s list emit eight times more radiation than those on the low end of the spectrum. 

cell phones

10 best phones (lowest radiation)

  1. Samsung Impression (SGH-a877)
  2. Motorola RAZR V8
  3. Samsung SGH-t229
  4. Samsung Rugby (SGH-a837)
  5. Samsung Propel Pro (SGH-i627)
  6. Samsung Gravity (SGH-t459)
  7. T-Mobile Sidekick
  8. LG Xenon (GR500)
  9. Motorola Karma QA1
  10. Sanyo Katana II

10 worst phones  (highest radiation)

  1. Motorola MOTO VU204
  2. T-Mobile myTouch 3G
  3. Kyocera Jax S1300
  4. Blackberry Curve 8330
  5. Motorola W385
  6. T-Mobile Shadow
  7. Motorola C290
  8. Motorola i335
  9. Motorola MOTO VE240
  10. Blackberry Bold 9000

Can’t find your phone? Check the entire list of 1,000 phones or search for your model. If your cell phone isn’t on EWG’s list, then search the Federal Communications Commission website to get your phone’s SAR value. You can then compare it to the models in EWG’s guide to see how it stacks up against the competition.
Buying a new cell phone isn’t your only option for limiting your exposure to cell phone radiation. Keeping your phone away from your head and body is the best thing you can do.
Here are some tips adapted from EWG’s guide to reducing cell phone radiation exposure:

  • Use speakerphone or a headset. There’s no consensus on whether it’s safer to go with a wired or wireless headset, but headsets emit less radiation than cell phones.
  • Send text messages instead of talking. Phones use less power and therefore emit less radiation to send text than voice. It also keeps radiation away from your head.
  • Stay off the phone when you have a poor signal. Your phone will emit more radiation to get the signal to the tower when there are fewer signal bars on your phone. 

Source : Click here.

How to Remote Control your Windows PC with Email or SMS

Wednesday 9 September 2009

It’s a long weekend and you’re happy because you’ll get to spend the next three days with your family. You left the office in an excited mood but as the cab was approaching home, you suddenly realized that you forgot to shut down the Office PC. Oops!
computer worries
It’s a sinking feeling because there’re so many confidential documents on the computer and since most of your trusted colleagues have also left for the day, there’s no point calling them for help.
So what do you do? Drive back to Office? Well that’s not required – just take out your cell phone or switch on the laptop at home, send an email (or an SMS or a tweet) and that will instantly lock your Office workstation. And if you share the same computer with multiple people, you can use another email command to remotely log off or even shut down the computer from anywhere in the world.
twitter commandsThere’s no magic here, it’s the power of TweetMyPC utility that lets you remote control your computer from a mobile phone or any other Internet connected computer.
It works like this. You first install the free TweetMyPC utility on any Windows PC and associate your Twitter account. The app will silently monitor your Twitter stream every minute for any desktop commands and if it finds one, will act upon it immediately. The initial version of TweetMyPC was limited to basic shutdown and restart commands, however the current v2 has a far more robust set of commands, enabling a far more useful way of getting your PC to carry out certain tasks especially when you’re AFK (Away From Keyboard).
Before we get started, it may be a good thing if you can set up a new twitter account for remote controlling your desktop and also protect the status updates of this account to ensure better security.
Protecting the account means that you prevent other users from reading your tweets which in this case are email commands that you sending to the computer. To protect your Twitter profile, log in to Twitter with the credentials you want to use, click Settings and check the box next to “Protect my Updates”.
Let’s get started. Install the TweetMyPC utility of your computer and associate your Twitter and Gmail account with the application. It will use Twitter to receive remote commands (like shutdown, log-off, lock workstation, etc) from while the email account will be used for send your information (e.g., what process are currently running on your computer).

How to Send Commands to the Remote Computer

Now that your basic configuration is done, it’s time to set up a posting method. You can use email, SMS, IM, web or any of the Twitter clients to send commands to the remote computer.
By Email: Associate you Twitter account with Posterous (auto-post) and all email messages sent to twitter@posterous.com will therefore become commands for the remote computer. (Also see: Post to Twitter via Email)
By SMS: If you live in US, UK, Canada, India, Germany, Sweden or New Zeleand, you can send associate Twitter with your mobile phone (see list of numbers) and then control your remote computer via SMS Text Messages.
By IM: Add the Twitter bot – twitter@twitter.com – to your list of Google Talk buddies and you can then send commands via instant message.
By Web:If you are on vacation but have access to an internet connected laptop, just log into the Twitter website and issue commands (e.g., shutdown or logoff) just as another tweet.
lock computer shutdown

Download Files, Capture Remote Screenshots & more..

While the TweetMyPC is pretty good for shutting down a remote computer, it lets you do some more awesome stuff as well.
For instance, you need to download an unfinished presentation from the office computer so that you can work on it at home. Or you want to download a trial copy of Windows 7 on the Office computer while you are at home.
Here’s a partial list of commands that you can use to remote control the PC – they’re case-insensitive and, as discussed above, you can send them to Twitter via email, SMS, IM or the web.
Screenshot : This is one of the most useful command I’ve come across after the shutdown command. Want to know what’s happening within the confines of your PC when you’re not around? Just tweet screenshot and TweetMyPC will take a screenshot of your desktop and post it to the web (see example).
ShutDown, LogOff, Reboot, Lock : The function of these useful commands is pretty obvious from their names.
Standby, Hibernate : Don’t want to shutdown the remote PC? Save power by entering standby mode with this command. Or hibernate your PC with a tweet, thereby saving even more power.
download files via twitter
Download : You can download any file from the Internet on to the remote computer using the download command. For instance, a command like download http://bit.ly/tCJ9Y will download the CIA Handbook so you have the document ready when you resume work the next day.
GetFile : The Download command was for downloading files from the Internet onto the remote computer. However, if you like to transfer a file from the remote computer to your current computer, use the GetFile command. It takes the full page of the file that you want to download and will send that you as an email attachment. If you don’t know the file page, use the command GetFileList to get a list of file folders on that drive.
GetProcessList : This is like a remote task manager. You’ll get a list of programs that are currently running on the remote computer along with their process IDs. Send another command kill to terminate any program that you think is suspicious or not required.
Conclusion:
TweetMyPC is a must-have utility and you never know when you may need it. And if you have been trying to stay away from Twitter all this time, the app gives you a big reason to at least create one protected account on Twitter.
twitter whale gmail whale
That said, there’s scope for improvement. For instance, the app will wait for a minute to check for new messages in your Twitter stream so it’s not “instant”. The developers can actually increase that limit because the Twitter API now allows upto 100 checks per hour.
And since the app is dependent on Twitter and Gmail, it will not work during those rare fail-whale moments.
Source : Click here.

7 New and Improved Windows 7 Features That Shouldn’t Go Unnoticed

Wednesday 9 September 2009

I’ve been playing around with Windows 7 since beta version 6801, I must say that I am quite pleased everything that I have experienced. There are tons of lists highlighting some of the new features found in Windows 7, specifically the new task bar, extended wireless capabilities, a friendlier User Account Control, and other changes/additions. However I feel that some of the really interesting things are not mentioned or fully covered, so I’ve decided to put a list down which describes some of the lesser known enhancements and additions. I hope you find this article useful. What other obscure features have you encountered, please post them below to share with others.
Note: I used Windows 7 RC1 for this article.
7 Windows 7 Features
1. Math Input Panel – Quit fighting with symbols and other software to enter equations into Word documents. Use the new Math Input Panel to easily convert your writing to equations with the appropriate formatting. The Math Input Panel can be found under Start > All Programs > Accessories
7 Windows 7 Features
2. Modify the Shut Down Button Action – If you don’t like the default action for the shut down button, Windows 7 now includes an option that allows you to customize it. Follow this guide for instructions on how to change the option.
7 Windows 7 Features
3. WordPad’s Face lift – In this version of Windows 7, WordPad received a complete facelift. The interface resembles Word minus the advanced features. Locate WordPad by opening the Start menu and typing WordPad in the search box.
7 Windows 7 Features
4. Microsoft Paint Evolves – Microsoft paint has gone from very basic painting tools and options in previous versions to a highly functional paint program. You now have options for multiple brushes, additional shapes, and a cleaner interface. Locate Paint by opening the Start menu and typing Paint in the search box.

7 Windows 7 Features
5. Sticky Notes Everywhere – You no longer need to dig for the Sticky Notes application to add them to your desktop. Now you can post Sticky Notes by simply opening Start > Sticky Notes > New Note.
Note: This feature is a carryover from Vista (you’d be surprised how many people didn’t know it was available in Vista to begin with, hence its place here) Sticky Notes in Vista was not available in Home Basic, I have not been able to confirm if they will be included in all Win7 versions or just Premium and above. Will update as soon as I find out.
7 Windows 7 Features
6. A Calculator for Everyone – Windows 7 includes 4 different calculators; Standard, Programmer, Scientific, and Statistics calculators. In order to access the other calculators, click on View located on the menu and choose the calculator you wish to use.
7 Windows 7 Features
7. Use Windows Vault to Store Your Credentials – Windows’ Credential Manager uses the Vault for storage and backup. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, “…in Windows 7 we’ve added the ability to back up or restore this information.  The default storage vault for the credential manager information is the ‘Windows Vault.’” I hope that resources like Gmail, Twitter, Meebo, NAS devices, network locations, and other resources requiring credentials can be integrated with this feature. Time will tell.
To access the credential manager go to Start > Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > Credential Manager

Source : Click here.

BMW and Windows 7: Three Reasons Why the Car Giant Is Upgrading Now

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Luxury automaker BMW has been spending nearly all of 2009 testing Windows 7 for its 85,000 Windows XP machines, with plans for full deployment by 2011. The goal: better remote management and a more productive mobile workforce. Here’s a look at their IT plan.
German automobile maker BMW is many things: Manufacturer of luxury cars and motorcycles; a prestigious brand name famous around the world; a sponsor of major sporting events; a giant corporation with a reputation for efficiency.
You can now add Windows 7 early adopter to that list.
Slideshow: Windows 7 in Pictures: 10 Cool Desktop Features
Windows 7 Bible: Your Complete Guide to the Next Version of Windows
Click here to find out more! The Munich-based auto giant, whose headquarters building is considered an architectural icon in Europe, has 100,000 employees in 250 locations in countries such as Germany, South Africa, the United States and China. On average, BMW manufactures between 1 and 1.5 million vehicles each year.
Within this vast environment, with users ranging from auto engineers to salespeople, sits 85,000 Windows machines.

BMW M3 Coupe

The BMW M3 Coupe

BMW has been running Windows XP in its broad client environment since 2001. Happy with XP, the automaker passed on Windows Vista, so its planning for Windows 7 started early, says Bernhard Huber, BMW’s Head of IT Workplace Systems.
Huber’s department is responsible for the purchase, operation and support of all of BMW’s devices such as PCs, phones and printers, as well as its corporate applications like e-mail, telephony and video conferencing.
“We identified a lot of functional and monetary benefits of Windows 7 early on,” says Huber, adding that BMW first started testing the Windows 7 beta in the first quarter of this year and has increased the number of pilot users since the RTM (release to manufacturing) version of Windows 7 became available in late July.
“It is expected that 200 to 500 key users will participate in the pilot program until the end of 2009,” he says.
Huber mentioned that BMW IT will increase compatibility testing with 5,000 users in a production environment in 2010, after which the rollout of Windows 7 on all machines at BMW will begin in 2011, probably around the time of Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

Better UI, Speed, App Virtualization and Memory

Huber says two areas where Windows 7 will make life easier for BMW employees is with the redesigned user interface and improved memory management.
The desktop features of the new OS, such as the revamped taskbar, are not usually mentioned as enterprise benefits. However, Huber envisions improved worker productivity with features like thumbnail previews, which allows for quicker switching between applications.
Huber also expects Windows 7 will further promote efficiency via its speedier startup times and improved memory management.
“Windows 7 uses its resources well and starts the applications perceptibly fast,” he says. “This will make the upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 easier than it would have been with Vista.”

Huber adds that BMW will be using XP Mode, a free virtualization feature for enterprises in Windows 7 that runs older XP-only applications through a Microsoft virtual machine containing a licensed copy of Windows XP SP3.
“With the help of application virtualization features like XP Mode, whatever software we have that is still not compatible with Windows 7 can be further used as we roll out the new OS. We can migrate legacy applications immediately and establish Windows 7 readiness later,” he says.

Enterprise Features = More Efficient Users

Huber’s department is also responsible for connecting PCs, phones and other devices to the corporate network and handling the patch management and security of all devices and applications.
Click here to find out more! BMW plans to utilize the Windows 7 security and networking enterprise features that work with Windows Server 2008 R2, which will release the same time as the client OS. Huber says that plans to deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 are well under way in order to use “the full potential of Windows 7.”

BMW Headquarters

BMW corporate headquarters in Munich, Germany.

Huber highlights features tailored for BMW’s mobile workers such as DirectAccess, a networking tool that eliminates the need for VPNs, BranchCache, which speeds up networks in remote offices by caching files locally; and BitLocker To Go, an encryption feature that protects portable devices such as thumb drives and external hard drives.
“These features will give BMW IT more efficient remote management abilities and will replace third-party products which must be purchased,” he says.
Huber says BMW is also hoping its diverse user base will benefit from the improved Remote Assistance functions in Windows 7. Remote Assistance, a long-time Windows tech support tool that allows an IT expert to connect to a user’s computer to fix problems directly, has a new feature in Windows 7 called “Easy Connect” that simplifies the process of connecting IT experts to distressed users.
“The improved Remote Assistance functions permit quicker failure analysis and will reduce downtime,” he says.

Complementing BMW’s Technical Strategy

Huber says he’s confident that Windows 7 will be as reliable as Windows XP once it is fully rolled out at BMW.
“The new and extended features of Windows 7 such as DirectAccess and Remote Assistance and application virtualization will play an integral part in our roadmap to have a highly automated client environment,” he says.
Huber expects support costs per client to go down as employees use Windows 7 to log on, navigate and get technical support quicker. He also points to improved energy management in Windows 7 that will lower the amount of electrical power needed.

Huber’s hope is that Windows 7 will help BMW maintain a cost-effective IT business. To measure this goal, he gathered consensus from local (German) and foreign colleagues from different departments at BMW about their business needs as they relate to a Windows upgrade.
“Because of this, our IT organization is conserving as many resources as possible and a lot of the Windows 7 deployment will be done parallel to the daily business,” he says.
Huber adds proudly that in comparison to BMW’s competitors, “we have achieved a leading position in cost-effective IT operations.”
Source : Click here.

Microsoft to launch virtual DVD service in U.K.

Wednesday 9 September 2009
Microsoft is bringing the DVD experience to downloadable movies–at least in the U.K.

Teaming up with U.K. retail giant Tesco, Microsoft announced Wednesday a new service to offer consumers downloadable videos with the same interactivity, special features, and high quality found on physical DVDs.
Based on Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, the “virtual DVD” service will start sometime this fall. It will allow Tesco customers who buy certain movies to also download digital copies of the flicks for their Windows or Mac computers. Besides providing high-quality video, the digital versions will include bonus content, related MP3 files and ringtones, and networked games. Tesco said it is working with “broad range of major movie studios” as part of the deal.
“For the first time, consumers will be able to enjoy a DVD equivalent experience with digital movies, which paves the way for more advanced viewing experiences enabled through Silverlight, Rob Salter, category director for Entertainment at Tesco, said in a statement. “In the future we expect to offer our customers innovative digital solutions that far exceed the DVD experience and deliver exclusive content, Web events, and services wherever and whenever they want them.”
Tesco, a grocery chain, has taken advantage of technology to create new business ventures. The company has expanded its reach in recent years to create software and offer a Skype-like VoIP service.
Though the virtual DVD service initially will be available only in the U.K., Microsoft said it expects to branch out to additional markets.
Source : Click me.

Microsoft Raises the Bar for Delivery of Live HD Online Video Using HTTP

Tuesday 8 September 2009
REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 8, 2009 — Bolstering its ability to provide the richest user experiences to consumers, Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to release Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 3.0, which enables delivery of interactive, high-definition-quality Live Smooth Streaming, along with new tools to simplify the process of delivering online experiences with Microsoft Silverlight. At the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC), Sept.11–15 in Amsterdam, Microsoft also will preview the latest media feature developments in Microsoft Silverlight 4, including native multicast support and support for offline digital rights management (DRM) powered by Microsoft PlayReady technology. In addition, the company announced the release of its IIS Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol and Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) specification under the Microsoft Community Promise, helping to ensure openness and industry interoperability.
At the company’s booth at IBC, Microsoft and key partners, Envivio Inc., iStreamPlanet Co., Level 3 Communications, and TwoFour Digital, will showcase these developments, as well as highlight how a growing number of customers, including Canal+, France 24, NBC Sports, Sat. 1, ProSieben and TV 2, are adopting IIS Smooth Streaming to enable rich and compelling video experiences globally.
“Microsoft Silverlight allows us to extend our investment in Windows Media Player and provide more accessibility and simplicity to our users. With Silverlight and PlayReady, we can run our Web TV services such as Foot+ on most Internet browsers, as well as PCs and Macs, while maintaining a high level of content security,” said Frederic Vincent, business development manager of Canal+. “Canal+ is also very excited about Microsoft’s innovative IIS Smooth Streaming technology, which will allow us to deliver an incredible video experience on the Web to our customers.”
Since May 2009, key broadcasters around the world have used beta versions of Live Smooth Streaming, a new feature of IIS Media Services 3.0, to successfully broadcast some of the world’s premier live events. These include the Tour de France and the Roland Garros 2009 International French Open Tennis Tournament on France Télévisions; the IAAF Athletics World Championships, FINA Swimming World Championships on both France Télévisions and RAI; the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 on RAI; and Champions League Soccer on BSkyB; as well as events such as the Michael Jackson Memorial on Sympatico/MSN inMusic and SKY News. In a combined effort with Microsoft, NBC Sports and others, Wimbledon Live delivered more than 6,500 minutes of live and on-demand Smooth Streaming video via a high-definition (HD), interactive online video experience.
“With technologies such as Live Smooth Streaming, we are furthering our commitment to provide cost-effective, scalable solutions to deliver the latest in high-quality, true HD and enhance the way audiences experience online video via Silverlight-based media players,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Platform at Microsoft.
IIS Media Services 3.0 and Silverlight 3 together provide the innovative platform that enables customers to deliver high-quality online media experiences that savvy online consumers have come to expect. IIS Media Services 3.0 is an integrated HTTP-based media delivery platform that delivers full HD streaming up to 1080p and provides real-time logging for data analysis. The platform also enables delivery of PlayReady-protected content for both on-demand and Live Smooth Streaming scenarios. Delivery of H.264 and Advanced Audio Coding formats over IIS Smooth Streaming is also enabled in IIS Media Services 3.0.
Continuing Commitment to the Developer Community
Furthering its commitment to provide developers with the open access and resources they need, Microsoft also announced today that has published its IIS Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol under the Microsoft Community Promise. This will help third parties who wish to build their own client implementations that interoperate with IIS Media Services. In addition, Microsoft announced the publication of the PIFF specification under the Microsoft Community Promise. The PIFF specification defines a standards-based file format that supports DRM interoperability (with PlayReady and other third-party DRM technologies), and provides a single standards-based encoding format appropriate for Smooth Streaming of audio and video content. In publishing PIFF and the IIS Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol, Microsoft intends to promote industry adoption of a video format optimized for Internet delivery, interoperable among a wide range of consumer devices, and openly available for use by all publishers to enable secure distribution and playback of high-value video.
In an early preview of Silverlight 4 media-specific features, at IBC Microsoft will showcase the next generation of movie experiences enabled by advanced offline PlayReady DRM and out of browser capabilities. These features will enable movie studios and retailers to provide the same rich interactive experiences via digital copy and Internet distribution as consumers get with DVD or Blu-ray. Silverlight 4 will enable movie studios to go beyond these experiences and also offer network-delivered updates, special offers and live events, and extend their relationship with consumers past the single movie purchase.
Microsoft also announced additional tools that deliver on the company’s commitment to support the developer community. A beta version of a Smooth Streaming player development kit, which makes it easier for developers to build custom players using templates, will be available with the release of IIS Media Services 3.0. Developers can simplify the production of Silverlight video by taking advantage of the encoding and publishing capabilities in Microsoft Expression Encoder 3, now available as a standalone product from the Microsoft Expression Studio suite.
Industry Partners Demonstrate Support for Smooth Streaming
To ensure the availability of a broad range of end-to-end Smooth Streaming solutions, Microsoft has worked closely with content delivery networks, encoding vendors and DRM application service providers who announced their support for Smooth Streaming in April 2009. At IBC, Level3 Communications LLC, Twofour Digital, Envivio Inc. and iStreamPlanet Co. will accompany Microsoft in its booth to demonstrate recent work to implement and deliver Smooth Streaming and Silverlight solutions.
Product Information and Availability
IIS Media Services with Live Smooth Streaming and the Smooth Streaming player development kit will be released within the next 30 days. More information about IIS Media Services and making the switch to Smooth Streaming is available at http://iis.net/media.
Source : Click here.

Microsoft offers some Silverlight 4 details

Tuesday 8 September 2009
Ahead of a broadcasting conference that starts later this week in Amsterdam, Microsoft on Tuesday shared a few new details on the next version of Silverlight.
In particular, Microsoft said the next version of the Adobe Flash rival would support its PlayReady digital rights management technology for offline content. That feature should allow studios to offer extras commonly found on DVD and Blu-Ray discs on movies that are distributed digitally, Microsoft said.

Microsoft has not said when the new version–Silverlight 4–will ship. Silverlight 3 was launched in July at an event in San Francisco.
At that time, Microsoft said it is aiming to have Silverlight on half of all Internet-connected devices by next year. That’s still a far cry from Adobe’s Flash, which is almost ubiquitous on PCs and on a growing number of cell phones as well.
Also on Tuesday, Microsoft said it would release in the next 30 days its Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 3.0, which allows so-called “Live Smooth Streaming” of content. The technology has already been used in beta form since May to offer coverage of events such as the French Open tennis tournament, the Tour de France cycling event and the Michael Jackson memorial.

Source : Click here.