LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp’s Silverlight Web video players will be rolled out on a number of Web sites on Wednesday, including celebrity news destination “Entertainment Tonight,” in a sign of the growing rivalry between the software giant and Adobe Systems Inc..
At the moment, Adobe’s Flash player is used by Google Inc’s YouTube and other sites for nearly instant Web video watching, making it a key player in a market that Microsoft’s Silverlight is targeting.
Microsoft, which released the plug-in media player to the Web on Wednesday, said it will cooperate with Novell Inc to make Silverlight work with Linux in the future, as it does with Apple Inc’s operating system.
Brian Goldfarb, group product manager at Microsoft, said the company is in talks with online DVD rental company Netflix Inc to power its new Web-based streaming video feature. He said Microsoft could also strike accords with a number of media companies looking to put more content — video and otherwise — online.
Using Silverlight, Microsoft aims to appeal to content companies with lower costs for media delivery, because it integrates with existing Web technology. It is also compatible with the company’s Windows Media format.
In the case of “Entertainment Tonight,” Silverlight will be used to show content such as videos from Hollywood awards shows that do not make it onto the television program, Executive Producer Linda Bell Blue said.
Another media company, HSN, formerly known as Home Shopping Network, launched a Silverlight-enabled site, hsn.tv, earlier this week with a large-screen player. a live video stream and search features.
Later this year, Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment will also incorporate the Microsoft product. It now has a “teaser” video product on its site, wwe.com, to encourage users to download the Silverlight plug-in, said WWE Creative Director Ross Angert.
Reporting by Gina Keating