Watch Barak Obama's inauguration in Silverlight!

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I guess I’ve had my head buried in projects lately; this was news to me as well.

Barak Obama’s presidential inauguration ceremony will be covered live in Silverlight! There are full details over at the inauguration web site:

Watch the Swearing-in Ceremony on the Web

Don’t miss it when Barack Obama takes the Oath of Office next Tuesday, January 20th. As part of our commitment to making this the most open inauguration in history, we’ll be streaming the swearing-in ceremony on our site using Microsoft’s Silverlight.

You can view high quality Silverlight streams, in full screen, and enjoy related inaugural video content.

As long as you have an Internet connection, you’ll be able to watch the ceremony as if you were there. Visit on Tuesday, January 20th to watch the swearing-in live.

The swearing-in ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. ET on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Take a look at the rest of the scheduled events for Inaugural Weekend.

And this from PressPass:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jan. 16, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today announced 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 at As part of its efforts to hold the most open and accessible inauguration in history, on Saturday, Jan. 17, the PIC will also stream video of a Baltimore event on the Whistle Stop Tour that will take President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden to Washington, D.C., from Philadelphia.

“Microsoft is proud to be part of this event by helping to bring the inauguration activities online,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel. “Just as during the campaign itself, Internet technology is enabling people around the world to participate more directly in historic events in new and exciting ways.”

In August the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) used Microsoft Silverlight to stream convention proceedings, including President-elect Obama’s acceptance speech.

Microsoft collaborated with iStreamPlanet Co. to develop and implement the rich media player experience powered by Microsoft Silverlight. “We welcome the opportunity to work with Microsoft again to demonstrate our expertise and ability to meet the challenges involved in such a watershed event in the history of webcasting,” said Mio Babic, CEO of iStreamPlanet.

“Microsoft Silverlight was built to enable people to consume online content in unique and engaging ways,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft. “This will be a truly historic event, and we are honored to enable online viewers to participate and create really meaningful experiences.”

This was great timing; I’ve had at least four requests from different schools asking if and how they could watch the inauguration online. It’s amazing how much the world has changed in eight years; there certainly were a lot more TVs in classrooms back in 2001, watching full-screen web video no less. May people’s first instinct to get this into the classroom is now to bring in a stream instead of a TV.

I’d already been signed up to get the projector set up at my kids’ school for Tuesday morning. Having the Silverlight logo show up on that big screen is going to the icing on the cake.

I rarely get the chance to convincingly demonstrate to people what my job is. Most of the time I just have to mumble something about “fostering a successful end-to-end ecosystem for publishing digital media.” It’ll be nice to say “I help make that happen.”


Anyway, if and when I find out any interesting technical details on the project, I’ll share them here. It’s in good hands with Mio and iStreamPlanet.

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