Microsoft continues to expand its cloud offerings, as the company rolls out their Windows Azure Media Services. This lets enterprises skip creating their own infrastructure for streaming on-demand video.
The service, which went live last Tuesday, can be used to deliver training videos to employees, stream video content from a website, or build video-on-demand service that is akin to Hulu or Netflix. Simply put, Windows Azure Media Services aims to make it easier for businesses to roll out video-streaming services.
Windows Azure Media Services: Making Video-Streaming and Encoding Easy
According to Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, building a media distribution platform that encodes and streams video to multiple devices and clients is a complex task. That’s because it requires connected, configured, and maintained hardware and software. With Windows Azure Media Services, it is easy to remove the need to provision and manage a custom infrastructure.
With today’s release, you now have everything you need to quickly build great, extremely scalable, end-to-end media solutions for streaming on-demand video to consumers on any device. For example, you can easily build a media service for delivering training videos to employees in your company, stream video content for your web-site, or build a premium video-on-demand service like Hulu or Netflix.
Microsoft’s streaming services allow enterprises to stream content to laptops, tablets, smartphones, game consoles, and TVs that are based on Windows, iOS, or Android. Developers can also build workflows for automatically uploading, encoding, and delivering video using REST APIs, .Net, and Java SDKs. These elements can be downloaded from the Azure developer website. The site also offers documentation to help developers get started.
Pricing and Available Features
To encode Windows Azure Media Services, users will play a flat rate that starts at $1.99 per gigabyte. The larger the volume that users will purchase, the lesser the price that they have to pay. For streaming low to moderate traffic volume, users have to pay for the storage and bandwidth. They can eventually add more origin servers to handle a larger number of users.
Meanwhile, the live streaming feature is only available for private preview as of the moment. But Guthrie said that a public preview will be coming soon. The Microsoft Windows Azure Media Services is supported by a new media services dev center, backed by an enterprise SLA, and is ready to be useful for all media projects.