Microsoft is inviting users to preview Microsoft Stream, its new video service for business. Microsoft said the product makes it easier for businesses to access and discover video content companywide and "democratizes access to and discovery of video at work."

Stream will ultimately converge with Office 365 Video, making Stream the de facto video experience within Office 365.

But during the preview of Microsoft Stream, there will be no changes to the Office 365 Video experience. Right now, anyone with a business email address can sign up for the preview and begin uploading, sharing and tagging videos, James Phillips, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Intelligence Products Group,
announced in a blog post.

Secure Video Management, Sharing

Microsoft claims Stream will simplify video management. It will enable workers to communicate and collaborate with videos in a way they haven’t been able to before, the company said. Calling it the latest step in its productivity strategy, Stream is designed to break down repository barriers. The Stream preview offers:

  • Quick deployment: For the moment at last it is free so you can sign up quickly without any credit card transactions
  • Easy upload:  Video upload by dragging and dropping video into the app interface then sending them to whatever channel the user wants
  • Discovery: Enhanced content discovery through “trending” videos powered by machine learning, and other ‘following’ abilities
  • Devices: Access videos on any device anytime

Future Streams

Microsoft intends to build Stream out over the coming months to make video a core content type for the enterprise.

"We believe video is going to be truly transformative in the workplace. We see video being a core content type across all solutions we use at work today,” Phillips explained.

Down the line, expect to see enhancements like a Stream portal for video management and distribution, intelligent search of videos content, the ability to add video to workflows, and IT administration of video content.

Microsoft has not clarified when to expect the final release. Nor has it said how Stream will be licensed or fit into the existing Office 365 strategy.

Odds are Microsoft is still working out the details.

According to a survey last year by video analytics company Vyopta, 90 percent of video collaboration professionals surveyed predict use and adoption of video in their organizations will grow over the next two years. 

Then there’s the potential around LinkedIn. Think how much more effective — and marketable — LinkedIn profiles would be if users could upload were able to add to video resumes or provide companies the option to market themselves through LinkedIn videos.