Microsoft has chosen InterVideo to port the software giant's Windows Media technology to the open-source Linux platform, the companies announced yesterday. The porting project lets consumer electronics companies ship Linux-based consumer devices such as set-top boxes, personal video recorders (PVRs), and other multimedia devices that are compatible with audio and video files encoded in the Windows Media 9 Series formats. The goal isn't to produce a Windows Media Player (WMP) for Linux desktop systems, however.
"We believe most of the major consumer electronics companies are looking at the Linux platform as a stable, low-cost solution for multimedia functionality, and InterVideo's superior technology and strong track record of multimedia innovation are an ideal fit," said Steve Ro, InterVideo's president and CEO. "In addition, InterVideo will now be able to add support for the popular Windows Media (formats) for all of these devices. Best of all, for manufacturers looking to add functionality without incurring huge expenses, using Windows Media technology could result in high-quality audio and video at low licensing costs."
InterVideo's agreement lets the company port various Windows Media 9 Series technologies for any interested consumer electronics manufacturer. These technologies include the Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV) codecs, Windows Media file container, Windows Media streaming protocols, and Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM). Because InterVideo already supports the DVD and MP3 formats on Linux, the company says it can now offer consumer electronics makers a complete solution.
Although Linux has stalled on the PC desktop, the open-source solution has made great strides in consumer electronics devices. Currently, Linux is used in digital video recording (DVR) devices such as TiVo, various satellite and cable TV set-top boxes, and even portable media players. In addition, Sony is reportedly considering Linux as the OS for its next video game console, the PlayStation 3.