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Microsoft targets Adobe’s Flash

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From Bloomberg News

Microsoft Corp. plans to introduce software that puts videos on websites in a bid to win users from the market leader, Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash.

The program, called Silverlight, will be used by companies such as Netflix Inc. and Universal Music Group, said Forest Key, a director of product management at Microsoft. The technology will help them create video-intensive Web pages that will appear the same on almost all operating systems.

Microsoft is touting the program as cheaper and easier for Web developers to use than Flash, which is on 98% of the world’s personal computers. The company expects the program to encourage Web designers to use more Microsoft tools, Key said.

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This week, Adobe plans to introduce technologies to lower the cost of encoding Flash videos, said Michele Turner, an Adobe vice president.

“Developing for Flash is dead-on cheap,” Turner said. “We feel like we’re way ahead today.”

But Key said there weren’t enough website designers familiar with Flash.

“The explosion of media on the Web is not happening as fast as it could because Flash isn’t as good as it should be,” he said.

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