Microsoft Corporation announced this afternoon that it has purchased VXtreme Inc., an award-winning developer of streaming media solutions. The company also used this time to announce the release of NetShow 2.0, a streaming media server and client.

"The Internet and intranets are empowering technologies that advance the functionality of broadcast networks such as radio, television, cable and satellite," said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. "Our goal is to enable everybody--media companies, businesses and consumers--to receive, originate and interact with these next-generation broadcasts. That's why Microsoft is making significant investments in this technology and integrating it into our Windows and BackOffice platforms."

These two events, along with the Progressive Networks licensing deal, is expected to encourage the growth of a broad streaming media industry, allow Microsoft to provide comprehensive industry support, and accelerate adoption of streaming media for in-house corporate use. VXtreme technology will enhance future versions of NetShow.

You can download NetShow 2.0 server and client for free from the Microsoft Web