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Silverlight Live Streaming being discontinued. What now?

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Silverlight Live Streaming being discontinued. What now?

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The Microsoft Live team announced in a blog post that the Silverlight Streaming service is being discontinued. The Silverlight Streaming service offered free hosting for Silverlight applications and videos.

The blog post states:
"Microsoft Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live Beta is being discontinued and will eventually be taken down.
A new Windows® Azure(TM)-based hosting and delivery service will be launched by the end of 2009, though this is not a direct replacement for Silverlight Streaming and will have costs associated with its use."
Further they write:
"Don't panic! All your current content is safe and you will receive sufficient notice for you to make an informed decision on where to host your Silverlight content and applications. However, in the interim, we would like you to be aware of the following:

Effective immediately, no new sign-ups are permitted for the Silverlight Streaming service. In addition, the Silverlight Streaming publishing plug-in for Expression Encoder will no longer be available for download.
The new Windows Azure functionality will not be a direct replacement for the Silverlight Streaming service and will be a paid subscription service."

The blog post also gives some instructions on how to retrieve the hosted Silverlight content. One can't really say that the offered (Azure) "migration process" is comfortable and frictionless. Actually, as far as I know there is no real Azure migration service at the moment, one can only access the Silverlight Streaming file system and copy the content.

What now?
In my opinion this is not a very nice move of Microsoft for bloggers like me. I have used Silverlight Streaming to provide live examples for my Silverlight posts. I mainly blog about Silverlight development and provide content and source code for free, therefore I help Microsoft to spread their technology - for free. It's a shame that a free streaming service at least for personal / educational purposes like mine isn't offered anymore. I might see things too naive and got the intention of Silverlight Streaming wrong, but from my point of view it's definitely not nice.
For now I have uploaded the samples and Videos to my public Dropbox folder and stream them from there. Timothy Parez (@delegatevoid) pointed me on this alternative and it actually works fine. Thanks Timothy!
I hope this blog post from the Silverlight Streaming team does not reflect the final decisions for Microsoft's Silverlight hosting. At least I can hope...



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