When millions of eyes tune in to see president-elect-but-about-to-be-President Obama’s inauguration at noon on Tuesday, Microsoft will be working behind the scenes. The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) will be streaming the Obama inauguration live using Silverlight, Microsoft announced today. The stream will be available at the PIC’s website.
The inauguration will be the biggest event that we know of to be broadcast using Silverlight 2 since it came out of beta in October. This announcement is good news for Microsoft, given that MLB announced in November that it would be switching from Silverlight back to Adobe Flash.
Microsoft executives have donated heavily to the inauguration: Bill Gates and Steve Balmer each gave $50,000 for the event, and other executives also donated five-figure sums. Microsoft also donated to the Obama campaign heavily during the election, giving it $2,124,186 — over twice what it gave to the McCain campaign, according to opensecrets.org. Most of that money came from individuals, so it doesn’t look like the company overtly bought what will likely turn out to be a huge surge in Silverlight downloads. But with Adobe not even appearing on opensecrets.org‘s “heavy hitters” list, I can’t help but wonder if Microsoft’s generosity helped it get this event.