OK, so our colleague Robert Scoble has thrown in towel on going live 24/7 on Ustream — a good decision, Robert, heehee.

But what Robert demonstrated, and the much talked about Justin Kan of Justin.TV, is the viability and prospect of streaming live, quality video. Silverlight, the new Web based video distribution platform from Microsoft, has live encoding built into it, so high quality video can be streamed.

Here is my final interview with Microsoft’s Forest Key, one of the main forces behind Microsoft Expression.  He provides a glimpse of the future of Web broadcasting.

In addition to providing the tools to easily generate a quality stream, the stream can be encoded and placed on a blog or Web page.

I expect that live video encoded by Microsoft in Silverlight or Flash video encoded by Adobe or On2 will be a major new area in user-generated content.

Forest also explains that Silverlight can provide HD video streaming at the industry standard of 720p.

Update 4/19:  We expect that Bill Gates’ announcement in Beijing today, about a new initiative to provide affordable Microsoft software to billions of people in emerging markets, will lead to more universally consumed rich media.  Silverlight will certainly be part of this emerging media mix as will other Web-based video including Flash.   

— Andy Plesser

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