Olympics end, race for web video begins

The Beijing Olympic games might be over, but the battle to become the means of delivering online video rages on between Microsoft's Silverlight and Adobe Systems' Flash format.

According to Reuters Technology Report, more than 40 million US viewers have gone to NBC's Olympics site to watch some of the 2,200 hours of live footage from the Beijing games, which uses Silverlight. Every one needed a Silverlight player on their browser to view video clips.

NBC's site provides a glimpse of what future video applications will look like - viewers are able to watch up to four videos at once or follow the action with an online commentary that runs alongside the video.

The report adds, "By building up Silverlight's user base, the world's largest software maker is looking to win over developers who see Web platforms such as Silverlight and Flash as a new way to deliver powerful Web-linked programs incorporating rich graphics."

At the moment, such platforms are mainly reserved for multimedia applications such YouTube, which runs on Adobe's Flash technology.