Windows Media Center Brings Netflix To Consumers Using Silverlight

silverlightlogo_2c69ec5f News Windows Media Center supports Microsoft Silverlight as of today! It starts by offering the Netflix Service on Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate. The following announcement appeared on the Silverlight Blog:

It’s official! As of today Silverlight is now supported within Windows Media Center. Microsoft just announced the immediate availability of the Netflix service on Windows Media Center for Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate. Under the hood, this is the same Silverlight-based service that users can get from www.netflix.com. To use it on Windows Media Center, you need to be a subscriber to Netflix and you need to have Silverlight installed on your PC. As shown below, a new Netflix tile now appears under TV + Movies in the Media Center UI.

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On first use, you’ll be prompted to install Silverlight 2 if it’s not already on your machine.

For content providers like Netflix, Silverlight support in Windows Media Center means they can leverage most, if not all, of their previous Silverlight development work to reach a potential audience of some 180 million Media Center users, 13 million of whom spend about 90 minutes in Media Center per session. Technically, Silverlight just plugs into Windows Media Center the same way it plugs into a web browser, so it supports all the features of Silverlight. However, that doesn’t mean that any content provider can make their Silverlight application available in Windows Media Center.At this point Microsoft has only announced the addition of Netflix as a Silverlight-based provider, but we look forward to the Windows Media Center team adding more Silverlight-based content experiences in the future.

Really cool, no word about it on Windows 7 atm though*. But hey that hasn’t even hit RTM yet, surely once it does you will be able to enjoy the same on that. It sure is good to see Silverlight being used more and more, on the web and in the OS!

* The only thing Windows 7 the announcement mentioned is about a new EPG that integrates both TV programming and Internet content in Windows Media Center.

Update: more info and a demo can be found here