Windows Azure Media Services Opens Up, Adds New Platform For Developers

Windows Azure LogoWindows Azure Media is now open to general availability and promises scaling capabilities for streaming on-demand video to consumers on any device.

The service is targeting enterprise and consumer services. In his blog post, Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie said that a customer can build a media service for delivering training videos to employees or stream video content to a website.

Guthrie, a corporate vice president in the Microsoft Tools and Servers group, writes that with Windows Azure Media Services, a customer can stream video to HTML5, Flash, Silverlight, Windows 8, iPad, iPhone, Android, Xbox, Windows Phone and other clients using a wide variety of streaming formats.

As part of the release, Microsoft is pitching what it calls a media platform-as-a-service. At its core this resembles the back end as a service (BaaS) services that are starting to pop up:

Building a media solution that encodes and streams video to various devices and clients is a complex task. It requires hardware and software that has to be connected, configured, and maintained. Windows Azure Media Services makes this problem much easier by eliminating the need to provision and manage your own custom infrastructure. Windows Azure Media Services accomplishes this by providing you with a Media Platform as a Service (PaaS) that enables you to easily scale your business as it grows, and pay only for what you use.

The value for developers comes with avoiding the hassle that comes in working with multiple media formats and encoding. Windows Azure handles much of the heavy lifting so developers can focus on building applications.

The new Windows Azure Media Service also has the capability to run one file format across multiple devices. One MP4 stream can run through Windows Azure and play on devices that support different formats.

It’s in services such as Windows Media Azure Service that the most sophisticated engineering is happening. In today’s world, it is critical for the infrastructure to integrate and adapt to mobile devices and the applications that run on them.

That capability makes Windows Media Service a valuable one for the developer looking for efficiency in deploying and managing multiple applications.

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