Microsoft launches YouTube alternative, powered by Silverlight!
This week, Microsoft has deployed a major new feature on SkyDrive -- an online video player for your video files!
Upload a video file to SkyDrive, and you can instantly play it online direct from its page on SkyDrive. I recommend WMV format for best results. Your existing video files on SkyDrive will now be surfaced online through the new video player. Example below! ;)
The folks in the Windows Live team may not even fully appreciate the significance of this move. It was launched very quietly, with no big announcements. Yet SkyDrive video is now, in effect, a very good alternative to YouTube for many videos-- something that many people have been wanting for a very long time. Furthermore, the embedded video player is powered by Silverlight instead of Flash. The new SkyDrive video player is just version 1.0, so we can expect it to get even better in the future.
I've been lobbying for this feature ever since SkyDrive first launch and, by some bizarre coincdence or synchronicity, I blogged about this feature request yesterday just when it was being released in! All they need to do now is offer HTML code that you can copy and paste to embed the video (the current embed code just shows the old video file icon).
Why hasn't the new SkyDrive video player been announced or even mentioned officially yet? Perhaps Microsoft are saving the news for their imminent announcement of the new Hotmail, because of course the integration with SkyDrive will mean you can watch videos you receive by email without having to download them. Perhaps, also, it's no coincidence that this has happened during the preview of Windows Live Essentials in which everything including the new Movie Maker software seamlessly integrates with SkyDrive. MS did announce today that they will be launching online web app versions of 85% to 90% of their software products this decade. Welcome to the future! (The official blog post anticipating the new features in Windows Live Wave 4 didn't even mention the video player. The best I could find today was a blog post by a user, a tech-loving granny!) MS never has been much good at promoting the cool stuff it does.
10 June 2010