Microsoft invests in Net video company Move Networks

The software giant takes a stake in the Internet video company for an undisclosed sum, in a move to broaden the reach of its video streaming technology.

Microsoft has invested in Internet TV company Move Networks for an undisclosed sum, in a move to broaden the reach of its video streaming technology.

The investment comes roughly five months after the two companies struck a strategic partnership. In March, Microsoft said it would begin supporting Move Network's video streaming technology within its own cross-browser video platform, Silverlight, which lets publishers customize navigation and ads. As part of Monday's deal, Move Networks said it will support Windows Server-based encoding, Microsoft video-compression technology (codecs), and Silverlight's digital rights management (DRM).

The deal also signals continued momentum for Move Networks, a supplier of high-definition video-delivery technology to publishers including ABC, Discovery, ESPN, and Fox. In April, the American Fork, a Utah-based company, raised $46 million from a stellar lineup of investors, including Benchmark Capital, Cisco Systems, Comcast Interactive Media, Steamboat Ventures, and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Microsoft said it has joined that Series C round of financing several months later. In all, the company has raised more than $67 million since it was founded in 2006.

The two companies are showing off their teamwork during the Democratic National Convention this week, under a deal with the DNC. The DNC is broadcasting live coverage of the event via its Web site with Microsoft and Move technology.

Combined, the two technologies let publishers deliver "skip-free" TV programming online with customizable navigation, according to the companies.

Specifically, Move Networks CEO John Edwards said that Microsoft helps it boost the advertising appeal of its technology with Silverlight. "Our close relationship with Microsoft demonstrates their confidence in our ability to unlock the tremendous potential of Internet television for audiences, media owners, advertisers, and service providers," Edwards said in a statement.

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