A baseball organisation is the first major customer for Microsoft's Silverlight, the company's competitor to Adobe Flash. The Major League Baseball website went live last night, just in time to carry news of Barry Bonds' record-breaking 756th home run.
MLB.com currently is using the Version 1.0 of the technology to show video highlights of baseball games, integrating the Silverlight player with news stories and other content on the site. For example, a news story about New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez hitting his 500th home-run includes a mini-Silverlight player users can click on to view a replay. Users also can email the video clips directly to friends from within the Silverlight player.
MLB.com is in the early stages of its use of Silverlight to enhance the site with multimedia content, said Matthew Gould, a spokesman for the site. Eventually, MLB.com plans to relaunch its MLB.TV live game media player, which streams baseball games on the Internet, with the technology. A beta of the revamped player is expected to be live in about a month, he said.
Microsoft launched Silverlight in April. The technology is a browser plug-in that allows content providers to offer rich video and interactive media.
As with Flash, users must download the Silverlight player before they can view video content. The current version of Silverlight that is being used on the site, 1.0, is a 1.4MB file that takes about a minute and a half to download and install.