Middleware Versus Native OS Support: Architectural Considerations for Supporting Multimedia Applications

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This paper examines two architectural alternatives - native OS support versus middleware - for supporting multimedia applications. Specifically, this paper examine whether extensions to OS functionality are necessary for supporting multimedia applications, or whether much of these benefits can be accrued by implementing resource management mechanisms in a middleware system. To answer these questions, the authors use QLinux and TAO as representative examples of a multimedia operating system and a multimedia middleware, respectively, and examine their effectiveness in supporting distributed applications.