Microsoft is getting renewed attention this week for LiveStation, an Internet video site co-developed by its research arm and Skinkers, a British start-up.
The project, which uses Microsoft's Silverlight technology, was announced back in April and is still in limited testing. It has gotten a flurry of blog mentions this week, being dubbed a "Joost killer," among other things.
LiveStation uses peer-to-peer technology to allow live video to be more effectively broadcast over the Internet. A video demo of LiveStation is posted to Microsoft's Soapbox site. In the video, Skinkers CEO Matteo Berlucchi says that the company wants to do several months of more beta testing to see how the application performs and scales, with a goal of a broader 1.0 release by October.
However, in a response to an Ars Technica post, the LiveStation team says it is not aiming to compete with Joost, but is instead focused on using peer-to-peer networks to deliver live television.
"We love Joost and think it's a great idea, but we are trying to do something different and complementary: we are trying to get live TV on the computer," the LiveStation crew wrote in the comments section on Ars Technica. "We believe that the user experience with streaming so far has never been really good enough. We hope to move the user experience a step forward and maybe to the point where people will look at LiveStation and think 'Wow, I can actuallly watch this and keep it on my computer.' "
As part of its licensing of technology to Skinkers, Microsoft holds a minority stake in the company. However, the Skinkers team, in its post to Ars Technica, says it is now responsible for developing LiveStation.
This video is Steve Clayton's interview of Skinkers' Matteo Berlucchi.