Summary:

· Microsoft Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live Beta is being discontinued and will eventually be taken down.

· A new Windows® Azure™-based hosting and delivery service will be launched by the end of 2009, though this is not a direct replacement for Silverlight Streaming and will have costs associated with its use.

· You can access, retrieve and if desired remove your content that is hosted on Silverlight Streaming by following the instructions below.

· Key dates and information about the availability of the new Windows Azure functionality, and when the existing Silverlight Streaming beta service will be taken down, will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Background:

Since May 2007, we have been offering a free beta service to host Silverlight applications and videos. This service is being discontinued to make way for a new Windows Azure-based service. Once this new service is launched, the current Silverlight Streaming beta service will eventually be taken down.

Don’t panic! All your current content is safe and you will receive sufficient notice for you to make an informed decision on where to host your Silverlight content and applications. However, in the interim, we would like you to be aware of the following:

· Effective immediately, no new sign-ups are permitted for the Silverlight Streaming service. In addition, the Silverlight Streaming publishing plug-in for Expression Encoder will no longer be available for download.

· The new Windows Azure functionality will not be a direct replacement for the Silverlight Streaming service and will be a paid subscription service.

Steps you can take today:

· You can access all of your content that is hosted on Silverlight Streaming and also view the file system to retrieve your content locally. For complete instructions on how to do this, please refer to the Step by step instructions for retrieving Silverlight Streaming content section below.

· Stay tuned for more information. Key dates about the new Windows Azure-based functionality, and when the existing service will be taken down will be communicated in the coming weeks.

· You can learn more about the Windows Azure Platform here.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at slsfbk@microsoft.com.

Step by step instructions for retrieving Silverlight Streaming content:

You can directly access the filesystem of the Silverlight Streaming hosting service. This will be the easiest way to retrieve content directly to your computer. In order to do this, you need to know the Account ID and Account Key used to access the filesystem. To get this information, do the following:

· Open a web browser and connect to http://silverlight.live.com

· Login with your Live ID.

· Click on Manage Account.

· You will see your Account ID and Key under the Account Information section at the bottom of the page.

You can connect to the SLS filesystem in a number of ways:

1. Map a network drive

Map to the following network drive, replacing <Account ID> with the numeric Account ID you found by following the steps above.

https://silverlight.services.live.com/<AccountID>/

2. Open as a web folder

· Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 200 and Windows Server 2003 users must install the latest Software Update for Web Folders.

· Internet Explorer users: open the web folder by connecting to the following URL, replacing <Account ID> with the numeric Account ID you found by following the steps above:

https://silverlight.services.live.com/<AccountID>/

· Other web browsers: copy and paste the following path into the “Run…” box on the Start menu:

\\silverlight.services.live.com@SSL\DavWWWRoot\<AccountID>\

· When prompted for credentials, supply your Silverlight Streaming account information that you found by following the steps in the previous section.

Note for Vista users:

For improved performance, disable thumbnails as follows:

1. Click on the Start button, then choose All Programs followed by Accessories.

2. Run Windows Explorer.

3. In Windows Explorer, click on the Organize button on the menu bar.

4. In the pull-down menu, click on Folder and Search Options.

5. In the Folder Options dialog window, click on the View tab.

6. Under the Files and Folders tree heading, ensure that Always show icons, never thumbnails is checked.

3. Mac OS X users

In the Finder, choose Go à Connect To Server. In the Server Address field, paste the following address, replacing <Account ID> with the numeric Account ID you found by following the steps above.

https://silverlight.services.live.com/<AccountID>/