At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas on April 16, Microsoft is taking the wraps off Windows Azure Media Services, the latest iteration of its end-to-end digital media platform.
Microsoft's Media Platform already handles encoding, delivery, and playback for a variety of network-connected devices. With Windows Azure Media Services, Microsoft also is integrating select third-party solutions into Microsoft's base platform, including high-speed transfer services from Aspera; content encoding from Digital Rapids, ATEME, and Dolby; content protection from BuyDRM and Civolution; and video-on-demand streaming from Wowza Media Services. Customers of the Azure-hosted Media Services platform will have a choice as to which, if any, of these add-on components they deploy.
"This is a collection of first- and third party services," said Brian Goldfarb, Director of Product Marketing for Windows Azure. "The (third party partners) can plug into our Azure engine and sell through our channels."
Goldfarb said there are about a dozen partners lined up who've been working with Microsoft's engineers to integrate directly into the core Azure and Media Services platforms.
Microsoft officials also announced at NAB that the company will be working with Akamai and Deltatrae to deliver high definition streaming video of the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer across multiple countries.