Corona – New Windows Streaming Media Platform Unveiled

by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

At the Streaming Media East 2001 expo in New York Dec. 11, Microsoft demonstrated its latest streaming server technology, Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server.

The server is part of Corona, the code name for the company’s next Windows Media Technologies platform.

Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server is the first deliverable component of the Windows Media Corona platform, and will, Microsoft said, improve Internet video streaming, in terms of functionality and economics.

Microsoft Windows Digital Media Division Vice President Will Poole performed the demo during his keynote address at Streaming Media East 2001.

Previewing two new audio and video codecs, Poole also demonstrated Corona’s ability to offer full-screen, full-motion video quality to broadband PC users.

The new server also includes Fast Stream, a feature designed to deliver an instant-on, always-on streaming experience, virtually free of broadband buffering delays. In addition, Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server is optimized, according to Microsoft, for wireless streaming.

The Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server is also said to offer the industry’s first server-side playlists, which would
enable content providers to change on the fly any content
delivered in a streamed broadcast environment.

It was also announced that other “Corona” technologies, including new versions of Windows Media Player, Windows Media Audio and Video codecs, and Windows Media Encoder, as well as a new Windows Media Software Development Kit, are slated for beta testing in early 2002.

Microsoft said that the leading manufacturers of chips for DVD players, representing 90 percent of the DVD processors manufactured and shipped in 2000, will add support over the next year for Windows Media Audio and Video, including the new Corona platform. Within the next year, the company said, DVD players containing these new chips will enable consumers to play back 22 hours of music from a single CD.

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