Windows Media Services (WMS) is streaming media server software from Microsoft that allows a Windows Server administrator to generate streaming media (audio/video). Only Windows Media, JPEG, and MP3 formats are supported. WMS is the successor of NetShow Services.[1]

In addition to streaming, WMS also has the ability to cache and record streams, enforce authentication, impose various connection limits, restrict access, use multiple protocols, generate usage statistics, and apply forward error correction (FEC). It can also handle a high number of concurrent connections making it suitable for content providers. Streams can also be distributed between servers as part of a distribution network where each server ultimately feeds a different network/audience. Both unicast and multicast streams are supported (multicast streams also use a proprietary and partially encrypted Windows Media Station (*.nsc) file for use by a player.) Typically, Windows Media Player is used to decode and watch/listen to the streams, but other players are also capable of playing unencrypted Windows Media content (Microsoft Silverlight, VLC, MPlayer, etc.)

64-bit versions of Windows Media Services are also available for increased scalability. The Scalable Networking Pack for Windows Server 2003 adds support for network acceleration and hardware-based offloading, which boosts Windows Media server performance. The newest version, Windows Media Services 2008, for Windows Server 2008, includes a built-in WMS Cache/Proxy plug-in which can be used to configure a Windows Media server either as a cache/proxy server or as a reverse proxy server so that it can provide caching and proxy support to other Windows Media servers.[2] Microsoft claims that these offloading technologies nearly double the scalability, making Windows Media Services, according to the claim, the industry's most powerful streaming media server.[3]

Windows Media Services 2008 is no longer included with the setup files for the Windows Server 2008 operating system, but is available as a free download.[4] It is also not supported on Windows Server 2012, having been replaced with IIS Media Services.[5]


See also


  1. ^ "Microsoft Netshow Server". Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  2. ^ "Windows Media Services 2008". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  3. ^ "Windows Media Services". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  4. ^ "Windows Media Services for Windows Server 2008". Microsoft Download Center. Archived from the original on 3 September 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Windows Media Services not supported on Windows Server 2012". Archived from the original on 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  6. ^ "Overview of online broadcasting with NetShow in Microsoft PowerPoint 2000". Archived from the original on 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  7. ^ "Using NetShow Services with Presentation Broadcasting - Office 2000 Resource Kit - Microsoft Office Online". Archived from the original on 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  8. ^ "Windows - Official Site for Microsoft Windows 10 Home, S & Pro OS, laptops, PCs, tablets & more". Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2018.