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Microsoft launches Windows Azure Media Services
The Redmond giant offers cloud services to deliver rich content to any device
Microsoft is upping its game in the cloud video market with the introduction of its Windows Azure Media Services.
Based on the company’s Windows Azure cloud platform, the services enable content providers and other media companies to deliver their rich content, namely video, as an on-demand service to customers on multiple devices.
The firms can store the large capacity files within Microsoft’s cloud and then use the platform to develop delivery models suitable for the users accessing the content.
"Our internal research shows that more than one-third of today's internet traffic is devoted to video consumption, and we expect that to grow to 80 percent by the end of 2015," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the Windows Azure application platform.
"Not everyone has the expertise or capital required to build a media infrastructure, so Windows Azure Media Services enables companies everywhere to build custom media solutions that easily scale and adapt to meet consumers' needs, wherever or however they consume it."
As well as using Microsoft Smooth Streaming, both HTTP Live Streaming and Flash media products will be compatible, meaning content can be access by PCs and Macs, as well as Apple iOS devices, Android handsets or Windows Phones.
A number of customers have already signed up, but the major project Microsoft is embarking on is with Akamai to stream the London Olympics this summer, providing high definition video of the games to viewers across Europe, North America, Central America and South America through their local content providers.
"Consumers now watch video anywhere, anytime and on any device," said Bill Wheaton, senior vice president and general manager of media at Akamai.
"We're eager for the Olympic Games to start and for the powerful combination of Windows Azure Media Services and Akamai's SOLA Media Solutions to deliver a high-quality viewing experience on a global scale."
The Windows Azure Media Services are available as a preview now and interested companies can sign up here.