Microsoft Edge Lack of Plugins Accelerates Your Multicast Timeline

Windows 10 is here, and Microsoft really wants its customers to start using it and Microsoft Edge. So much so that Microsoft is even offering free upgrades to accelerate its adoption. Such insistence has ignited a strong rate of adoption throughout the Microsoft ecosystem. In a little over a month, more than 75 million devices have been upgraded to Windows 10.

One noticeable and, for video, impactful change in Windows 10 is the default browser. Internet Explorer, take a bow. You had a nice run. Bring in the Microsoft Edge browser. The introduction of a new default browser is not as trivial a fact as it may seem. For organizations that rely on multicast to broadcast live video to hundreds or thousands of employees, this is actually a rather significant development. This is because, like Chrome, Microsoft Edge doesn’t support plugins – including multicast-enabling plugins, such as Microsoft Silverlight.

So what does this mean? Let’s take a step back for a moment: If your organization supports Windows and streams live events to a distributed audience, then you likely use multicast to deliver the video stream (because it’s the most reliable method to large-scale, secure video delivery). And if you use multicast, then your employees view the stream on Internet Explorer using Microsoft Silverlight as plugins (because this is required to view multicast streams).

You need plugins to deliver multicast video, but the new Windows browser does not support plugins. Therefore, you’re left with two options. Find another multicast solution. Or, find a new method to enterprise video delivery. Multicast alternatives, such as peer-to-peer (P2P) and unicast require a combination of proprietary eCDNs or media servers and a custom video player.

If you oversee the use of video in your organization, this leaves you in a bit of a predicament because you need to find a new solution for delivering live video.

This isn’t news to you. The new twist is your time frame.

You knew you needed to find a new way to broadcast live events when Microsoft announced end-of-life for Silverlight and Windows Media Server, but you also knew you had time. For a while, Microsoft was vague as to when these services would officially end. Further development of Windows Media Server has already ended, but support will continue until 2021.

Microsoft Pulls Plug on Silverlight
Microsoft Edge doesn’t support Silverlight for multicast video

But Windows 10 and its new default browser are now on the scene and the lack of plugin support for Microsoft Edge has obliterated your old timeline. You need a solution by the time you start supporting Windows 10. 

In conversations we’ve had with customers and prospective customers, we’ve found an overwhelming preference to continue with multicast, rather than veer off course with P2P and unicast solutions. Customers value the reliability and scalability that multicast provides. Plus, they simply don’t want to reinvent their entire video delivery architecture. 

Ramp is the only vendor with a solution that enables multicast to reach the Microsoft Edge browser – on your existing infrastructure. AltitudeCDN Multicast+ provides standards-based and secure multicast support to any live video deployment that uses HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).

Multicast+ delivers an effective and easy-to-use solution for updating an organization’s live video delivery solution without requiring a combination of proprietary eCDNs or media servers, nor requiring a custom video player – a standard HLS compatible video player is sufficient. Multicast+ also supports HLS with AES-128 or Sample AES encryption.

For more information on Multicast+, download the Solution Brief.