Microsoft is rolling out a new live streaming platform to customers that allows them to watch the latest shows and films on demand without having to be connected to a television.
The platform, which will debut in the coming weeks, allows customers to stream live shows and movies from the Microsoft Cloud on the company’s Microsoft Azure video service, Microsoft said.
The new platform is powered by a new technology called the Crystal Mountain Cloud, which was developed by Microsoft, a provider of cloud computing services to businesses, companies and organizations.
It lets customers stream movies, TV shows, and video games from a variety of devices on their PCs, tablets and smartphones, including Xboxes and Xboxes Pro.
The Crystal Mountain Stream platform is similar to those offered by Netflix and YouTube.
However, unlike Netflix, which offers a streaming service through the service’s own servers, Microsoft has developed its own cloud service, Azure Video, that will allow customers to access streaming video content and games directly from a Windows 10 PC or laptop running Windows 10 Pro.
With Crystal Mountain Streaming, customers can watch live video, photos and videos from a Microsoft Cloud PC or tablet and stream content from Microsoft Cloud, Azure video or any other Microsoft-provided media service to their Xboxes, Xboxes 2, Xbox One and Xbox One S. The video will be available for 24 hours from the time of the video’s initial stream.
It’s a big step for Microsoft to go with a live streaming service that’s available to consumers as part of a broader strategy to increase video streaming options to consumers.
A company spokesperson confirmed to Ars that Crystal Mountain streaming is being rolled out on a trial basis to a select group of customers.
The company said customers who sign up for Crystal Mountain will receive a special “Crystal Mountain subscription” that provides them with the ability to stream the same live TV and movies as those they’re already subscribed to, but at no extra cost.
The Crystal Mountain subscription comes with a $100 per month Microsoft Azure Video subscription, which is a $50 per month “premium” that includes streaming video and movies.
The pricing is subject to change and it may be available in other regions as well.
The announcement comes as Netflix is facing criticism for being too slow to launch its own streaming service.
Netflix announced in April that it was launching a live-streaming service called The Content, which it calls Netflix Now.
Netflix is now rolling out the service, and the company is also launching its own video platform called Prime Video.