Signiant Teams with Microsoft on Content Delivery to Xbox 360, Zune

Game consoles are no longer just for gaming, as devices like Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have become full-fledged living room entertainment devices. In addition to gaming, they are used to watch video content and surf the Web just like over-the-top set-top boxes.

In a move to target this growing video hub, Microsoft is now using Signiant’s content distribution management system to deliver video and gaming content to its Xbox 360 platform and Zune digital media player. Microsoft uses the Signiant system to move content into and out of the Windows Azure platform. The Signiant solution and Windows Azure gives Xbox and Zune developers a larger platform for aggregating content and code from a range of media companies, game developers, and software engineering teams.

“If you hit the VOD button on your XBOX, you have a wealth of content,” said Signiant VP of marketing Tony Lapolito. “All that content gets aggregated via Signiant into Microsoft. It then gets processed and we deliver it to Azure for download. It streamlines the whole process and is extremely secure.”

The teams behind Xbox and Zune are among the first software developers and media content delivery organizations to take advantage of the link between the Signiant Workflow Modeling Engine and the Windows Azure platform, which provides a means for transporting large files to consumer devices. Previously, the two development teams relied on third-party CDNs for delivery of the content.

Developers can now take advantage of the complete portfolio of Windows Azure services, including the Windows Azure compute application hosting environment, Windows Azure virtual storage, and the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network, which helps to enhance end-user performance and reliability by placing copies of data closer to users.

“The need to interconnect the supply chain is growing dramatically,” said Lapolito. “Building that supply chain and interconnecting more and more outlets is extremely important. We have the capability to do that.”

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