Four of the IT industry's biggest names have announced plans to produce a media platform to rival Microsoft's Windows.

Lead by IBM and including Apple, Adobe and Cisco, the Digital Media Framework will "give companies the most advanced capabilities to create, manage and distribute rich media content faster, easier and at lower cost", according to an announcement given little fanfare at the end of last month.

It supports Java, J2EE, ISMA, 3GPP, MPEG, XML, Linux, H.264 Advanced Video Coding, Extensible Metadata, and support for more standards is planned. Software to manage video streaming is also included.

Applications from Apple, Adobe and Cisco support the same standards and can integrate into the framework.

"Apple's planned support for AVC/H.264 in the next major release of QuickTime shipping with Mac OS X Tiger will allow AVC/H.264 files created in QuickTime to work with IBM DB2 Content Manager," Adobe said.

"IBM continues to deliver innovative technology, team with key partners and build on its commitment to an open digital media framework so businesses can leverage their assets, better communicate with constituents and offer a wider array of revenue generation services," said .

"With the availability of the new technologies and tools in the open Digital Media Framework, companies can be more responsive and can create cost-effective digital media solutions on demand," said Dick Anderson, general manager of IBM's digital media division.

Components of the platform will be:

  • IBM's Adaptive Rich Media Streaming (Arms) technology
  • Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP)
  • Apple's support for AVC/H.264 in the next major release of QuickTime
  • Cisco's Application and Content Networking System (ACNS) solution
  • IBM's DB2 Content Manager VideoCharger