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paidContent.org - MLB Struggles With Switch Back From Microsoft Silverlight To Adobe Flash

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Joseph Tartakoff
paidContent.org
Thursday, April 9, 2009; 2:07 PM

Major League Baseball dropped Microsoft's Silverlight for Adobe's Flash this year, citing the media player's higher reliability. But four days into the baseball season, hundreds of users are complaining about choppy video and audio on MLB.TV. The complaints are particularly embarrassing for MLB because MLB.TV's debut last year was also dogged by problems.

To make matters worse, MLB appears to be making efforts to paper over the embarrassment: Earlier this week on its blog, the league acknowledged some of these problems, saying, "We have a lot more to do still to get the [media] player to perform in a more stable manner across the board," according to PC World. But, strangely, all the entries on the blog, which explained that many of the issues had to do with a plug-in called NexDef, have since been deleted. There is now only one post, which states that the Opening Day issues were "predictable." Visitors are encouraged to comment on the MLB.TV support forums. An MLB spokesman did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

All of this has not been lost on Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). In a post Monday, the company said that while Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) Flash had high penetration, NexDef did not. "Ubiquity here is a red herring?what customers really want are high-quality solutions," Silverlight's Steve Sklepowich wrote. And in another post today, Christian Thilmany, a member of Microsoft's developer and platform evangelism group, refers to the problems and says "maybe they should have stayed with Silverlight."

Update: I clarified this post to indicate that while the NexDef plug-in is now needed to stream MLB.TV in HD, it is not an Adobe Flash plug-in.

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Microsoft Launching Flash Competitor: Silverlight


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