IBM is stepping into digital media with a new framework to rival Microsoft Windows.

The software - the Digital Media Framework - has been developed in cooperation with Microsoft competitors, Apple, Adobe and Cisco. It's described as a digital media framework, and is intended for use in creating, managing and distributing rich-media content. It's also being set to enter the market at lower cost than Microsoft's offering.

The solution supports Java, J2EE, ISMA, 3GPP, MPEG, XML, Linux, H.264 Advanced Video Coding, Extensible Metadata, with support for more standards planned. It even includes a software to manage video streaming, including the capability to optimize such streams over busy networks.

Applications from Apple, Adobe and Cisco support the same standards and can integrate into the framework, reports claim.

"Apple's planned support for AVC/H.264 in the next major release of QuickTime shipping with Mac OS X Tiger will allow AVC/H.264 files created in QuickTime to work with IBM DB2 Content Manager," Adobe said.

"IBM continues to deliver innovative technology, team with key partners and build on its commitment to an open digital media framework so businesses can leverage their assets, better communicate with constituents and offer a wider array of revenue generation services," said Dick Anderson, general manager, IBM Global Digital Media. 

"With the availability of the new technologies and tools in the open Digital Media Framework, companies can be more responsive and can create cost-effective digital media solutions on demand," he explained.