Presidential Inaugural Committee Picks Silverlight. Rest of the World Uses Flash.

inaugurationLast Friday, Microsoft sent out a press release announcing that “…the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) has selected the company’s Silverlight technology to enable live and on-demand video streaming of the official inauguration swearing-in ceremony on the PIC Web site…”.

I’m not entirely sure if it’s worth bragging about one site using Silverlight. Even if it is the “official” site… Especially since all the big networks are using Flash technology to stream the event. It’s also funny to note that ”… the list of donors to the inaugural committee does not include any contributors who list Silverlight-rival Adobe Systems as an employer. As we have reported here before, it does include several high-profile Microsoft executives, including CEO Steve Ballmer…”, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A Microsoft spokeswoman was quick to note that ”… these donations are personal contributions from the named Microsoft executives, and not representative of Microsoft the corporation …”. I’m sure a $200.000+ contribution wouldn’t have hurt though. ;-)

When I read the press release, I remembered that video interview that Robert Scoble did with Eric Schmidt a while ago. Eric is the director of media and advertising evangelism at Microsoft. In that interview, Eric Schmidt confirms (although not in those exact words) that it was Microsoft who built the NBC Olympics site and that NBC only delivered the content for it. He says that his evangelism group was responsible for project management. The developer side of things was done by Scott Guthrie’s group. A team at MSNBC was responsible for the content and his group worked with external developers. Now, I am not completely unbiased of course, but to me that sounds as if Microsoft paid for the whole site.

I’m not suggesting anything here but it makes you wonder how technology is chosen these days.

Anyway… There will be plenty of live sources to watch tomorrow’s inauguration. I kinda wish I was in Washington to witness it live but instead I’ll be watching it online on Current.tv, MSNBC.com, FOXnews.com, CNN.com, UStream.tv or any of the other big networks who are all streaming live video with Flash on a day-to-day basis. Go Flash!