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Without A Doubt, Microsoft Shines A (Silver)Light on Olympic Games

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 8:25 AM, under , ,

Athens, GA (Aug 12, 2008) - When it comes to Microsoft, there are many out there (including myself) who do not like their business practices and their unrelenting campaign to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about their competitors to win business. I was also less than pleased that in order to use "video to go" on the NBC Olympics web site, the Windows Vista operating system (OS) was an absolute requirement. I saw this (and still view this) as a shameless attempt, using the Microsoft and NBC partnership to try and cram a woefully poor operating system down the throats of people who wanted to take advantage of "video to go". On the plus side, this meant that people at work would not be wasting time watching those videos because no self-respecting information technology shop would let this OS into their environment.

silverlight screen capture

Fortunately, visitors to the NBC Olympics site can watch the other videos on the site, and those videos are powered by Microsoft Silverlight. Ever the jaded skeptic, I chuckled when Bill Smith of the University of Arkansas Sports Information Department blogged on how cool Silverlight is and how he loved it. Well today was my day to be blown away by this technology.

I did not have a chance to see the Men's Swimming 4 X 100 relay on air, so this morning I dutifully went to the NBC Olympics site to watch the video. I could watch the entire race, including the before and after, without a single buffering error, and with a picture/sound quality I have had yet to experience from any on-line on demand video site (including NBC Universal).

So hats off to the technical folks at Microsoft and elsewhere (since Microsoft probably bought the technology) for this marvelous product and technology. They may not know how to get collaboration software right, but this one is a sure-fire winner!

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