Microsoft offers some Silverlight 4 details

The software maker says the next version of the Adobe Flash rival will support digitally protected content even in offline mode.

Ahead of a broadcasting conference that starts later this week in Amsterdam, Microsoft on Tuesday shared a few new details on the next version of Silverlight.

In particular, Microsoft said the next version of the Adobe Flash rival would support its PlayReady digital rights management technology for offline content. That feature should allow studios to offer extras commonly found on DVD and Blu-ray discs on movies that are distributed digitally, Microsoft said.

Microsoft has not said when the new version--Silverlight 4--will ship. Silverlight 3 was launched in July at an event in San Francisco.

At that time, Microsoft said it is aiming to have Silverlight on half of all Internet-connected devices by next year. That's still a far cry from Adobe's Flash, which is almost ubiquitous on PCs and on a growing number of cell phones as well.

Also on Tuesday, Microsoft said it would release in the next 30 days its Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 3.0, which allows so-called "Live Smooth Streaming" of content. The technology has already been used in beta form since May to offer coverage of events such as the French Open tennis tournament, the Tour de France cycling event, and the Michael Jackson memorial.

 

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