Today we have posted a Preview release of the Silverlight Streaming Plug-in for Microsoft Expression Encoder. Silverlight Streaming is a service offered by the Windows Live team that let's you post Silverlight applications (rich media experiences or RIAs) to the Live service where they are hosted on Microsoft's industrial strength infrastructure.

Silverlight Streaming is in pre-release mode now but the general rules for using the service are as follows:

While the product is in pre-release, storage and delivery is free up to 4 GB, with outbound streaming up to 700 Kbps. As we move out of Beta, developers/designers will have continued use of the service with up to 1 million minutes of free video streaming at 700 Kpbs per site per month. Unlimited streaming will also be available for free with advertising, or with payment of a nominal fee for the service for use without advertising.

What do you need to test drive publishing media experiences to the Silverlight Streaming service:

- Expression Encoder Trial (Now with 180 Day Trial Key)

- Silverlight Streaming Plug-in Preview for Expression Encoder

- Silverlight Streaming Account

If you are a blogger using Windows Live Writer, we also have a plug-in created by James Clarke on the Expression Encoder team that let's you "Insert Silverlight Streaming Apps" into your blog posts.

To check that out, download:

- Windows Live Writer

- Insert Silverlight Streaming App for Windows Live Writer

For a quick demo of how to use all this, the great James Clarke has a quick step by step on his blog.

Below for your enjoyment is one of the free Expression Encoder training videos presented by Ben Waggoner and published to Silverlight Streaming.

Subject: Live Encoding in Expression Encoder.