For more than a year enterprises have known about the impending doomsday of Windows Media Server and Microsoft Silverlight. They’ve also known for some time about discontinued plugin support for Chrome browsers. In short, Enterprises know the ancillary pieces supporting multicast video will no longer be available and they need a new solution for video delivery, whether it be multicast, peer-to-peer or something else.
(Check out some alternatives to multicast for enterprise video delivery: “Does the End of Silverlight Mean the End of Multicast”)
But just what does that timeline look like?
Because Microsoft also stated that they would continue supporting Silverlight until 2021, the end-of-life news wasn’t enough to get people running around with their hair on fire looking for a new multicast solution.
However, as noted in a previous post, the lack of plugin support on Microsoft Edge is a more recent development that makes multicast a more pressing issue for those overseeing video in their organization. And, while the Edge news may have accelerated the timeline somewhat, ultimately the due date is unchanged from before. Just find a replacement by the time Silverlight is officially off life support in six years. In the meantime, enterprises can still fall back on the duo of Internet Explorer and Silverlight for multicast video streams. Windows 10 still supports Internet Explorer, so enterprises can run Silverlight for multicast streaming for as long as Silverlight exists. At least that’s how the thinking goes in some quarters.
And while technically speaking this is true, there are other, more powerful, forces driving the multicast timeline for an organization. It starts at the top.
Senior-level executives will be the unwitting multicast champions because they will be the first to receive new PCs running Windows 10. They will be the first to incorporate the Edge browser into their daily workflow, a workflow which increasingly includes live broadcasts.
An organization could tell its executives that they must fall back to Internet Explorer any time they wish to stream video. But will executives just accept that? Or, will they push for a more aggressive timeline for supporting Edge to be supported in all aspects of their daily workflow?
While requiring employees to switch to Internet Explorer for live events doesn’t change much in the short term, how long can it last? It would seem silly for a F500 or F1000 global company to require that employees use an outdated technology for years after it was last relevant.
Enterprises aren’t going to wait five years to upgrade their employees to Windows 10. And executives won’t accept a roundabout process for streaming and viewing live events. It will be the business executives that finally bring focus to the hazy multicast timelines of IT departments.
For more info on multicast, read about Ramp Multicast+, a secure, scalable and standards-based next-generation multicast solution.