The plethora of competing technologies which stream video and audio to you browser could be reduced to a more sensible, or at least a more compatible number, if Microsoft Corp purchases Palo Alto, California company VXtreme Inc, as a report in yesterday’s PC Week suggests. On Tuesday Microsoft bought a chunk of video and audio streaming leader Progressive Networks Inc saying it’ll include that company’s RealAudio and RealVideo 4.0 technologies into its NetShow streaming server, which will become part of Microsoft Site Server. Progressive has agreed to natively support Microsoft’s Active streaming format (ASF) standard in the next release of its technology. VXtreme has developed some advanced compression algorithms and development tools and is already used by companies such as Microsoft Corp rival Sun Microsystems Inc. The likes of Cisco Systems, Informix and Softbank are VXtreme investors. The paper expects Microsoft to close the deal for VXtreme, which competes with Progressive, VDOnet, Xing Technologies and others for desktop streaming, within two weeks. VXtreme did not return calls on the subject. VXtreme says it will also support ASF. If Microsoft does buy VXtreme the net result would be that three streaming technologies – which all support MPEG files – would be visible from a single player.