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One thing that might make this popular is just what I mentioned, if you're site is on shared hosting or a low resource server where you can't be re-encoding video this is viable alternative. Every windows installation comes packaged with Windows Movie maker so anyone with Windows can create the video files silverlight will play and forum members who are using Windows will be able to encode locally on their own machine and upload. You'd only have to do a few checks such as for file size...
This i only one of the things you can do with it but I think the delivery of WMV to anyone is pretty significant.
delivery of WMV to anyone is pretty significant.
I think this probably assumes you will use IE only. It is not the typical operating procedure for Microsoft to make something that includes other browsers like Firefox or Netscape. It is more like them to make sure their new software under cuts the competition or simply doesn't work with anything but their programs.
I have not explored this yet because I know how Microsoft typically acts and don't think this will become a serious player unless they include all browsers equally like Flash does today.
It's not a "video player" much the same flash is not a video player. It can be used for video and many other things. It's directly competing with the flash plug-in as they both add capabilities for doing much of the same things.
However I am not convinced this will catch on. Flash has a very large head start and I am not sure Microsoft even with all their money can catch up. They tried to rule the development space with Frontpage, but Dreamweaver and other tools were always more favored. I am wondering if that won't continue to happen with this vs. Flash.