Microsoft has seen the light over its lack of support for non-MS, non-IE support for Windows Media with the release of a new plug in for Opera, Firefox and Safari on the Mac.
The code word for this project is “WPF/E” which stands for Windows Presentation Foundation “Anywhere”. The “WPF” part is the Windows Vista technologies that you can also download into XP to give a stunning 2d/3d visual experience. The “/E” part takes the 2d and video part and moves it onto non Windows Platforms. The Mac platforms currently supported are OS X 10.4 onwards on both Intel and PowerPC.
The current (pre) release of software does allegedly support DRM, but doesn’t support live streaming, and is optimized for progressive download, but its claimed that the final release will support live streaming from Windows servers.
My technical team say that performance is much better than Flash. However, with so many interfaces being developed now in Flash, the next challenge is to produce an API to enable Flash devs to easily embed and address the video, until it's easier to integrate into the Mac dev environment, my money's still on rapid growth for Flash this year...