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Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank You Microsoft: Netflix Comes To The Mac


I was just about to cancel my Netflix account. After all, why should I pay the same price as those using Windows computers, who are able to watch movies streaming instantly?

In another sign of the crazy times we're living in, Apple users have Microsoft to thank for making Netflix streaming on the Mac possible. Netflix will be using Microsoft's Silverlight to bring their streaming titles to the Mac. Why Silverlight? Well, one of the reasons the launch of these titles on the Mac has been delayed has been the requirements from studios to ensure copy protection of the content. On Windows computers, Windows Media Player provides an adequate level of DRM to satisfy content producers. Since Windows Media Player hasn't been updated for the Mac in years, Silverlight became the next best option. Since Silverlight is cross-platform, it will be interesting to see if all Netflix streaming is deployed via Silverlight in the future.

If it isn't already obvious, Apple's own QuickTime has stellar video quality, but lacks DRM options for third parties like Netflix. If nothing else, this may make Apple consider a subscription plan more in line with Netflix price offerings. A small portion of the Netflix catalog is currently available on any platform, but within 8-12 months, we could see some interesting competition between Netflix and Apple's own rental options.

1 comment:

jamie said...

Too bad Apple won't add this feature to Apple TV, it could really give that device a shot in the arm. Especially now with Netflix coming to Xbox360 next month. Someone explain to me why anyone would buy an Apple TV over a 360.

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