Companies can now stream, host and encode media content thanks to Windows Azure Media Services.
Windows Azure – Microsoft’s cloud service – has been extended to Windows Azure Media Services
Microsoft announced it new cloud storage service at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2012 conference in Las Vegas, from April 14-19, which allows hosting services in the cloud and streaming through Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming, HTTP Live Streaming and Flash Media formats.
Microsoft says the service can be used to stream any system. That includes those using Windows 8 and Android devices, along with iPhones, iPads, Windows Phone and Xbox devices.
The first real test for the service will come at the 2012 London Olympics. Akamai will be using the service to stream an estimated 3,600 hours of content generated from the huge amount of qualification sessions across events from gymnastics to swimming. And considering the Olympics is one of, if not the, biggest sporting events in the world then it will certainly be a test.
More tools for Windows Azure Media Services will be released in autumn and spring this year, with the service expected to go live this year. That’s assuming it gets through the Olympics.
Brian Goldfarb, director of product marketing for Azure, said to The Register that the “Media space is huge” and that the Azure infrastructure has been growing to the capacity companies need.
What is Windows Azure
Windows Azure is an online cloud service, aimed at businesses who want to manage content for specific people. An example would be if a business wants to share content with specific employees. They would only configure access to them, the advantage of cloud storage being the security and the obvious requirement of no internal memory.
Microsoft has other cloud services, namely Windows SkyDrive and the Microsoft Online Backup Service. The former is integrated directly into Windows 8, and allows for remote access and uploading files from the desktop (finally). The Metro UI separates different types of media through the size of tiles in the Metro side. The second is a new service Microsoft is pushing which is open for beta access, in exchange for user feedback. To entice users, the company is offering 10GB of free storage.
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