Friday, November 27, 2009

Silverlight Streaming on iPhone

Nitwits who haven't really understood Apple's position on Flash were shocked to learn Microsoft's Silerlight can now stream video to iPhones. The truth is easy to believe: after making plain that Apple didn't want iPhones clogged up with performance-sapping plug-ins that would enable unbridled evasion of Apple's app-approval process by enabling unvetted code to run (and retransmit itself, and do any other security-nightmare activity) at will, Microsoft has made its server products able to send iPhones standard HTML 5 video tags instead of Silverlight content, and to stream iPhones H.264 content instead of proprietary Microsoft encodings that depend on a Silverlight plug-in for decoding, so that iPhones get the same standards-compliant treatment iPhones prefer. Microsoft does this transparently to its customers via server-side transcoding, so that they need not realize they don't really need proprietary Microsoft file formats or nonstandard HTML tags to make their content accessible to the rest of the world. Apple hasn't bent; Microsoft has moved to make its tech support iPhones change-free, perhaps as a move to compete with Adobe's iPhone-incapable Flash.

The real question is why Microsoft is still transmitting standards-nonconformant content to every platform but the iPhone.

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