Dems Pick Microsoft for Convention

Microsoft Silverlight will be used to power live, gavel-to-gavel Web video coverage.

Democrats may not know who their presidential candidate will be yet, but they at least have settled on Microsoft as the official software and HD Web content provider for the Democratic National Convention Aug. 25-28 in Denver.

As part of the deal, Microsoft software will be used to support delegate tracking, voting and the management of credentials. During the nomination process, Microsoft technology will support a voting system providing up-to-the-minute delegate vote totals electronically to the Office of the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee.

In addition, the software giant's Silverlight platform will bring live, gavel-to-gavel video coverage of the convention to the convention's Web site. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"From voting to nominate the next president of the United States to adopting a national platform, there is a significant amount of important party business that goes on at each and every convention," Leah D. Daughtry, CEO of the DNCC (Democratic National Convention Committee), said in a joint statement with Microsoft.

Click here to read about Microsoft's Silverlight deal with NBC for summer coverage of the Olympics.

According to Microsoft, Silverlight multimedia applications will provide an all-access pass for the convention's online audience, offering an opportunity for viewers to individually tailor their viewing experiences. In addition to custom development, Microsoft will provide convention officials with software including business productivity, e-mail, content services and real-time collaboration applications.

"Technology is playing an increasingly critical role in the electoral process and contributing to the convention allows Microsoft to help ensure that the Democratic Party [and] its delegates as well as voters watching in their homes and on the Internet are able to take full advantage of the benefits," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president and general counsel.

Microsoft also said it will contribute to the DNCC's "greening" efforts by tracking the company's carbon footprint for convention-related energy consumption, including all trips, deliveries, shipping transport of goods, and staff air and ground travel.

The DNCC claims the 2008 convention will be the most environmentally sustainable event of its kind because sustainable planning principles will be applied to every decision leading up to the four-day event.

Microsoft archrival Google has already struck a similar deal with the Republicans to be the "Official Innovation Provider" at the GOP's Sept. 1-4 convention in Minneapolis.