Microsoft and Akamai Technologies will release a beta version of a high-definition video solution for PCs in early 2009, the companies announced today. Both companies are introducing new streaming technologies to make the new service possible.  More details will be discussed later this morning when Microsoft Director
of Media and Advertising Evangelism Eric Schmidt speaks at the Beet.TV Online Video Roundtable today (Oct 28) in New York.  The program begins at 9 a.m. EDT and ends at noon.

Microsoft will adapt video quality to server connection speeds with its Internet Information Services Smooth Streaming technology, making it possible for the video to start instantly without buffering. Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight, which will be available in beta to select customers in early 2009, will build upon that technology.

Andy interviewed Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie about Silverlight earlier this month; I republished the video above.

Here is the joint press release.  Here’s the take by CNET

Kelsey Blodget, Associate Producer