It was reported last week that Microsoft has contracted InterVideo to port Microsoft Windows Media technology to Linux. The move will allow InterVideo, a supplier of digital audio and video software, to port Windows Media code to its embedded Linux version and include it in its software. The InterVideo's embedded Linux product is used in consumer electronics products, such as MP3 players, set top boxes and digital video recorders.The pieces of Microsoft technology that will be ported to Linux will include audio and video codecs for Widows Media, as well as file container technology, streaming protocols and code for enabling digital rights management. Adding Windows Media support to InterVideo's Linux will allow the embedded\u00a0operating system\u00a0to play files such as WMA and AVI, as well as MP3 and DVD playback. The addition could also be used to offer personal video recording capabilities.Players for WMA files and other Windows-based multimedia have been available for Linux in the past but such applications had to be reverse-engineered to make the Linux port possible.\u00a0 It may seem ironic that Microsoft decided to license its multimedia technology for Linux, but it is a sign that the software giant is recognizing Linux's emerging role in the embedded device market. While Linux has had an embedded Windows product for years, Linux has seen rapid growth in the market, as makers of single-purpose devices seek low-cost, reliable and customizable platforms for their wares.One problem for hackers thinking they may get their hands on the Windows Media code: InterVideo's embedded Linux is not available to the public, according to the company's Web site.