Introducing… Silverlight?

Next Story

Pools and computers usually don’t mix, but China wants to change that

The clock on the site reads 7 days, 12 hours, 31 minutes, and 29 seconds until the start of the Olympics, but the clock countdown on watching NBC Olympics On the Go on the Mac is T minus never. That’s because On the Go is sponsored by Lenovo and powered by somebody called TVTonic, and when you click to install TVTonic you get this notice:

Software Compatibility Notice
We’re sorry, your computer isn’t compatible with NBC Olympics On The Go, powered by TVTonic. Please read the system requirements for more.

If you would like to download the installer software anyway, you may click here to download it.

Perhaps the suggestion to download the software anyway is to accommodate dual boot users, but I imagine running Parallels would avoid the whole Mac error screen anyway. What’s surprising is that Microsoft has made much of the fact that NBC’s Olympic coverage will be augmented by an enhanced experience with multiple camera angles, interactive data, and various extended features, powered by the cross-platform Silverlight technology. Just to maintain the confusion, TVTonic offers an option to Watch the Introduction video that requires Silverlight.

Meanwhile, back over on the main site, the countdown continues. You can watch videos and peruse results and schedules, all powered by the afore-mentioned Silverlight, and all the while being upsold to DirectTV packages of extended coverage. There are no indications of how special Silverlight programming will be scheduled or announced, and no features like On the Go’s “subscribe to your favorite events for automatic delivery to your PC.” Not an auspicious debut for the Silverlight strategy of reaching what Microsoft thinks will be some 100 million desktops by the time the Olympics end.

Oh well, guess I’ll watch the Introduction video again.

  • Nathan

    not entirely sure what you want here.

    wait until the Olympics actually start…

  • Steve Gillmor

    I am waiting for messaging about the “open” cross-platform Silverlight platform unencumbered by PC and cable centric positioning away from the digital value proposition Microsoft has evangelized around Mesh and Silverlight. Not good signals of true internal buyin.

  • | last100

    […] and gymnastics. Video quality is near-HD. Olympics on the Go isn’t going anywhere on the Mac TechCrunchIT points out that Olympics on the Go is sponsored by PC-maker Lenovo and powered by TVTonic. When you […]

  • Michael Sprague

    NBC is offering an unprecedented level of online coverage for the olympics this year, spanning many platforms and interactive experiences. Silverlight is the core of this. NBC Olympics On The Go is an additional way to get the Olympics that makes use of the unique and powerful capabilities only available in Vista Media Center. If you don’t have Vista there are plenty of other great ways to view the Olympics from

  • AreUthat Dumb

    Look, Gillmor, “On the Go” does not mean streaming in 2008 marketing speak.

    “With NBC Olympics on the Go, consumers will have a convenient new option for bringing Olympics video footage with them, though the coverage will be sandboxed to PCs.” (from Ars)

    Silverlight == Streaming, also on

    BTW this comment is a negative gesture. In fact, equivalent to the middle finger.
    As you said in your Dare post, you need negative gestures to learn something. Now learn something — for example, why Ars, CNet, ZDNet, RWW all understood the message, while you didn’t.

  • Steve Gillmor


    The mixed messages sent on the On the Go site are not commented on in the Ars Technica post you cite. I continue to wonder why the Introduction to the service is provided via Silverlight. Microsoft appears to be promoting two competing technology bases, a telling sign at a time when Microsoft politics are in churn.

blog comments powered by Disqus