Apple is known for being rather stubborn when it comes to foreign technology on their devices, particularly the iPhone. Flash is still banned from the product, and Silverlight was presumed to be the same. However, Microsoft has apparently worked with Apple to get compatibility for streaming Silverlight video on iPhones.
According to BetaNews, as Silverlight is a content delivery platform (not just video), the company targeted just the media delivery features for compatibility. This means that H.264 format video can stream wirelessly using Silverlight to an iPhone, without any extra work needed.
Microsoft's User Experience Platform Manager Brian Goldfarb was asked how they managed to get this working, considering Apple's stance with Adobe, you'd figure they'd be even more reluctant with their main rival; he replied with, "The promise of Silverlight is that it's a cross-device, cross-browser, cross-platform solution, and it works the same on Macs as it does on Windows. The iPhone is a unique scenario. We talked to our customers... and they said, 'Look, we just need to get our content there, and it's mainly in the media space like broadcasting, and we want to put it on the iPhone.' They have a great solution for that; if you're surfing the Web, and hit YouTube and hit 'Play,' it'll play your video because they've created an environment where they can safely play media, and they're comfortable with that." He then continued, "So we've worked with Apple to create a server-side based solution with IIS Media Services, and what we're doing is taking content that's encoded for smooth streaming and enabling the content owner to say, 'I want to enable the iPhone.' The server will dynamically make the content work -- same content, same point of origin -- on the iPhone. We do this with the HTML 5 VIDEO tag, in many ways."
Goldfarb explained how everything works himself, saying, "We're translating the content to support the MPEG2 v8 [decoder] format [of] the iPhone; we're moving it to their adaptive streaming format. So it's the same IIS smooth streaming content, the same server, the same point of origin, but now I can get that content to play without any code changes, without any real work, on the iPhone. That's the critical thing for our customers." If you'd like to see this in action on your iPhone, head to this link and check it out.