Microsoft Releases Windows Media Services 2008

Yesterday, Microsoft officially announced the launch of Windows Media Services 2008. While I expect we will see a lot more announcements and news around this and other products at next week’s MIX event, here are just some of the highlights from Microsoft of the new Windows Media Services:

  • Reliability: Improves on the 99.999% reliability of Windows Server 2003
  • Native 64-bit OS Support: 2x the industry-leading scalability of WMS 9.0 thanks to native 64-bit operating system support
  • Scalable Live Streaming: deliver large-scale live events to a global audience
  • Fast Streaming: Fast Start and the newer Advanced Fast Start for WMS significantly reduce streaming buffering times to deliver near-television-like experiences when playing back content or switching between sources. For on-demand content, Advanced Fast Start also enables quick seeking within a WMS stream, allowing users to "seek" forward or backward instantly.
  • New Cache/Proxy Server plug-in: this plug-in allows a Windows Media server in a branch office or other remote location to easily split a single broadcast stream from the home office into multiple streams for local end users, reducing WAN traffic.

There are a bunch of other features as well that simplify management, cut costs and enable monetization, which you can read about here.

In addition, many features of Windows Media Services that were previously available only on Windows Server Enterprise and Datacenter are now available on Windows Server Standard, and all Standard features are now also available on Windows Web Server 2008. This makes Windows Media Services 2008 available to a broader set of users at a lower cost. 

With the launch of Windows Server 2008, Windows Media Services 2008 is now available for the Windows Web Server 2008, which has a suggested retail price of $469.