MS' Gregory sees one streaming standard

Microsoft Internet product manager Martin Gregory today said he expects yesterday's deal with Progressive Networks to help create a standard for multimedia streaming over the Web.

"From a Microsoft point of view the motivation is to avoid a standards battle," Gregory said. "If you look at our acquisitions of Comcast and WebTV we absolutely see streaming media as important and we're focused on the ASF as the format. This is just accelerating the growth of the streaming market."

Gregory also played down fears that Microsoft would commandeer the streaming standard to its own, proprietary advantage. "If you look at the work we've done with the World Wide Web Consortium, and PointCast, BackWeb and Air Media in Web broadcasting, we've been the good citizen."

Gregory said he was unaware of any Microsoft plans to purchase another streaming company, VXtreme.

Separately, Gregory said that Microsoft expects in the next fortnight to name UK content providers for its Active Channels Web broadcasting function in Internet Explorer 4.0.