Dear Adobe: Where’s my free hosted Flash Media Server?

logo_main_sl.gif Microsoft is giving me 4 gigs of free hosted streaming Silverlight video. You want to keep Flash video on top? Give me a free hosted FLV streaming service please.

And I don’t want to hear, hey, you can go and download the developer edition of Flash Media Server 2, install it on your own root server, and then you can have a whopping 10 concurrent users and you can’t use it in a production environment. Nope, screw that, I’ll take a free FLV streaming service please. And you better one up ’em and make it 10 gigs. You can send me an email when you’ve got it up and running and I’ll sign up. Thanks.


15 thoughts on “Dear Adobe: Where’s my free hosted Flash Media Server?

  1. Microsoft site reads:

    “Note: Silverlight Streaming is focused on enabling developers deploying Silverlight experiences. Customers requiring additional capabilities for large-scale delivery and guaranteed service levels are encouraged to contact a Windows Media Streaming Hosting Provider.”

    That translates to – “This is slow, unstable, and we can shut you down anytime if you are abusing the developer service – just BUY IT from our hosting providers”

  2. Microsoft has deep pockets, and can afford to temporarily underprice services to destroy other providers… search term “microsoft predatory free” brings up several examples from their history.

    If Microsoft can actually and fully serve your needs, then you may wish to consider the solutions they offer. But if not, then….


  3. Its a neat offering, and it will probably be successful at its main goal. I’ll probably use it at some point while toying with Silverlight, as will many other developers.

    Microsoft doesn’t even need deep pockets to pull this off though. Its much easier to offer something for free when barely anyone is using it. You think they would be handing that service out for free (without some sort of crippling feature), if Silverlight was already ubiquitous?

    If this could be used in small scale developments, it would probably hurt their “Windows Media Streaming Hosting Providers” more than it does Adobe. Typical Microsoft to cannibalize their own partners in an attempt to hurt the competition.

  4. Ha! I love the wording of this post… reminds me of the Silverlight posters I saw earlier today…which I suspect may have been made in Photoshop.

  5. When I first read your post I was thinking “right on!”, but after reading some of the comments, I’d have to say that I agree with JD and Chris.

    Microsoft has deep enough pockets to lose some money initially on Sliverlight, and they are probably offering things like this for free to get in with the college students. The same tactic was used when I was in college studying comp sci — Microsoft came in and gave away a lot of software to the students, and magically our professors started moving away from Java and C/C++ toward C#. The students wanted it because the IDE became free to them, and the professors taught it because it offered them incentives such as cheaper lab setups.

    But overall, I would have to agree with JD and Chris about Microsoft’s intent. Frankly, I’d rather see Adobe open source key parts of their platform instead of putting that possibly lost money into giving away free services that don’t benefit the greater good.

  6. Ordinarily I’m not one to be anti-MS. However, I’ll make an exception in this case. MS is way behind the curve in the RIA space. In order to catch up MS is making it very appealing to RIA developers by offering free services. In the future you will also see them offering other freebies. This is an effort to undermine the foothold Adobe has in this space. Anti-competitive? Maybe. Predatory? Definitely.

  7. barry.b says:

    I think you’re all missing the point.

    it’s not just about branding and getting Silverlight-based video out there.

    It’s providing a play-pen for innovators to experiment with. if they get 1000 sign-ups and can find five out of that who are out-there and pushing the envelope and are willing to jump on board, they’ll be happy.

    They’ve got the start of their own partnering program. Like A&R departments at record companies.

    eh, my 2c.

  8. barry.b says:

    and the final piece of the puzzle…

    Why Microsoft’s purchase of Aquantive is So Smart

    $6bn, that’s not play money. TISM.

    microsoft has run out of growth areas. the next push is into advertising via a couple of different vehicles: search, sure, but also trampling on YouTube’s toes (and other areas). Attracting content makers to run on their (silverlight video) platform for a cut of the spoils.

    the thick plottens … er, plot thickens…

  9. It’s not about deep pockets, it’s about pushing forward with Live.com concepts initially but overall it provides a free as in beer, sandpit for one and all to showcase their Silverlight delights. Having HD Video capabilities within Silverlight, it only makes sense to allow folks to upload such video onto a server in order to prove the concepts that Silverlight can have on offer, there will be more in this space as future progressions of Silverlight continue (we aren’t done).

    As for JD’s comments, *shrug* if I had a nickle for every time he preeched “Doom and Gloom” Microsoft conspiracy theories, i’d probably have enough to purchase Adobe by now ;P (hehe).

    Barry: Advertising is something Microsoft is looking to explore further, but it won’t mean you have to sell your soul in order to use Microsoft’s free services, there will be developer related paths for this world of goodness going forward so stay tuned.

    As for conspiracy theories, here’s one for all. Microsoft always has a strong foucs on Developers, as all our products will remain in having such a focus. That being said, what if, hypothetically it helped Developers also turn an extra buck with world-wide advertising that is context aware? That’d be kind of cool right? (provided it was dealt carefully of course). Share the love 😛

    Not saying the above is actually going to happen, but it’d be interesting *IF* it were to happen.

    Scott Barnes
    Developer Evangelist

  10. steve wolkoff says:

    @Doug: You *can* use the free “Developer Edition” of Flash Media Server in commerical applications.


    To Barry.b’s point: It will be interesting to see the EULA around this “free” service. Who will own the content that’s uploaded and hosted? What about Distribution and Reproduction rights?

    And to Jon’s point – I’m sure this has not gone over well with Microsoft’s “Parnters” in the Windows Media Streaming program. Ya swim with the sharks …

    steve / Adobe

  11. Nice Blog! I am really excited that they also have decided to offer online transcoding of many different video formats into Silverlight (including FLVs) along with the streaming service. That was announced at the NAB show the other day.

Comments are closed.