Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

HSN taps Microsoft Silverlight to expand mobile commerce reach

HSN Inc. an interactive lifestyle network and retail destination, is one of the first companies partnering with Microsoft Silverlight to launch an application, and like its other mobile offerings, it is commerce-enabled.

The HSN Shop App is now available through Nokia’s Ovi Store for the first time. This partnership with Microsoft Silverlight is the latest example of HSN’s strategy to let consumers make purchases at any time from any device.

“As we continue to expand the idea of HSN everywhere and build on transactional leadership we already have, the partnership with Microsoft Silverslight helps us answer the question, ‘How do we continue to roll out a great customer experience and let them shop whenever and wherever they want?’” said John McDevitt, vice president of advanced services at HSN, St. Petersburg, FL. “It’s about giving our customers choices.

“We were early partners with Microsoft Silverlight on the desktop and we’ve continued that relationship into mobile,” he said. “At launch we’re probably not supporting live video, but the app does have on-demand video clips—the same HSN programming but on-demand—and we’re working with Microsoft to add live video.

“We clearly believe in the mobile space and we are looking for different expansion opportunities, because our customers like it—the mobile experience can be a very positive consumer experience, and with the new screens on the devices coming out these days, things look great.”

HSN launched a mobile commerce application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch last August (see story).

Last month, the interactive multichannel retailer launched a new application for Google’s Android operating system that lets consumers make purchases using their handset (see story).

“Our No. 1 way to get the word out about our apps is always, of course, our TV programming, especially when it is coupled with our iPhone experience,” Mr. McDevitt said. “We’ll continue to support mobile with those platforms.

“Everyone wants an easy-to-use positive functional experience, and our apps all have a similar checkout experience to our Web site,” he said. “This is another step forward for HSN as we continue to try to innovate to serve our customers, to create the best customer experience possible and give them new features, benefits and options.”

MS powers Silverlight, IIS Media across multiple screens
Microsoft Corp. will showcase new products and initiatives that make it easier for content owners and broadcasters to reach consumers across multiple screens with Microsoft Silverlight media experiences, using a single runtime platform, server infrastructure and free programming frameworks.

Silverlight for SOCs beta is planned to be available for hardware and device manufacturers to evaluate by the end of 2010. Silverlight 4 will became available later this month.

Expression Encoder 4 will be available in the middle of 2010.

Microsoft announced it is working with system-on-chip (SOC) partners Intel Corp. and Broadcom Corp. to deliver support for reference designs that will provide the complete Silverlight platform to set-top boxes, connected televisions, Blu-ray Disc players and Web-enabled mobile devices.

The Silverlight Media Framework 2.0 will be available by the end of the second quarter of 2010.

Based on the Silverlight player used for the 2010 Winter Olympics by, Canada’s CTV and Norway’s NRK, the open-source  Silverlight Media Framework will enable content providers to rapidly create media experiences with almost no coding and extended by third-party developers without royalties or fees.

Microsoft also announced partner support for Silverlight Analytics Framework, a framework for integrating business intelligence analytics into Silverlight applications.

A growing list of partners includes AT Internet; comScore Inc.; Conviva; Eqatec Analytics; GlanceGuide Inc.; Google Analytics; Location3 Media Inc.; Nedstat; The Nielsen Co.; Omniture, an Adobe company; PreEmptive Solutions LLC; Quantcast Corp.; Telerik; Unica Corp.; and Webtrends Inc.

In addition, online video platform providers Kaltura Inc. and Ooyala Inc. announced plans to include full Silverlight and IIS Media Services support in its products using the Silverlight Media Framework.

This will provide its customers with the ability to easily create Silverlight-based experiences to meet the demands of end users.

Silver streak
Microsoft claims that Silverlight adoption has continued at a rapid pace and is now approaching 60 percent installation on all Internet devices worldwide.

Also, Microsoft has seen continued industry adoption and commitment to Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming from customers in a variety of industries.

Media customers that used Silverlight and IIS Media Services to deliver online broadcasts of the 2010 Winter Olympics include CTV, Czech Television, Eurosport, France Télévisions, NBC, NOS, NRK, RAI, SBS and TVP.

Other new customers include telecommunications companies such as Portugal Telecom and Swisscom; digital marketing partnerships such as Red Bull for its Red Bull Stratos: Mission to the Edge of Space challenge; and customers with new Silverlight applications on mobile devices including, Major League Soccer and multichannel retailer HSN.

“One of the big advantages of the Silverlight platform is that it’s a single development platform, so instead of having to worry about different handsets, we build once and can port the application over to various handset platforms,” Mr. McDevitt said.

“Also, the video experience is great,” he said.