Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / June 29th, 2008

Microsoft Hoping for Olympic Gold with Silverlight

Get it?  Silverlight, going for Gold?  Silver?  Nevermind.

Anyhow, Microsoft is counting on a big win at the olympics which start in just a few weeks.  MS has partnered with NBC to offer olympic video online via Silverlight, the new rich-media browser plugin. 

I got to see the demo of the site at Microsoft’s Mix conference earlier this year, and it was amazing!  Scalable HD quality video with so many options like picture-in-picture and camera angle choices.  There’s no doubt the video will be a big hit among those that watch it.

But why is it so big for Microsoft?  Adoption, that’s why. 

By all accounts I’ve seen, and some of you might disagree, Silverlight is every bit as strong as Flash.  If not stronger.  When it comes to video, you’ll see as you watch team USA going for gold in basketball or softball, Silverlight is unparalleled.  So why aren’t more people developing commercial sites in Silverlight?  Because the adoption rates pale in comparison to Flash’s 99% or so.

So the popularity of SL will depend greatly on the popularity of the olympics, which has been sub-par in past years.  Microsoft certainly hasn’t put all of their eggs in one basket though, partnering with sites like MLB.com and OEM’s like HP, who will include the plugin on all new PC’s.

So, for all of you who buffered your way through CBS’s March MAdness online, give the olympics a try.  I think you’ll be impressed!

olympics in Silverlight