Microsoft Rolls Out Stream for Business Video
By Andy Abramson
Microsoft for years had Windows Media Player as an essential part of their Windows platform. It also was a key player in the battle against Real Player and the mp3 format. Somewhere along the way, the music died and the team that made Windows Media Player so great, left, got dismantled or evolved inside the giant company. Microsoft then missed the boat in consumer video, losing to others, even though Windows Media Player was one the best platforms for both encoding and delivering video at a time when Apple’s Quicktime was going for the higher end entertainment market. Then came YouTube, and pretty much video delivery became their realm, and with it, Google's via the YouTube acquisition.
All this is about to change, especially for the business sector with Microsoft’s announcement this week about Microsoft Stream. This new offering is important because the enterprise market needs to keep its records and analytics to themselves, and not be sharing their customer data with Google. It’s also important because Stream, like so much of what Microsoft is releasing these days that runs in the cloud, takes advantage of Azure, their rival to Amazon Web Services. Lastly, as Microsoft stated “anyone with a business email address can sign up for the preview in seconds and begin uploading, sharing and tagging videos in their organization. By taking the “work” out of managing video storage and security, Microsoft Stream enables organizations and their employees to communicate and collaborate with video more easily.”
With the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Google all going more deeply into video, both instant and produced, and with more collaboration software offering video recording, with Stream Microsoft is attacking the under served business market with a cloud-based service offering designed for them, and which will integrate with existing workflows.
Given the shift from text to voice and now video, Microsoft Stream is a well-timed offering, and one a business of any size can quickly take advantage of.