Microsoft Unveils New Video Service ‘Stream’ for Businesses

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Business woman typing on keyboardConsidering the fact that YouTube reaches more 18 to 49 year-olds compared to any U.S. cable network, it’s safe to say that streaming is the future of video content. Early this week, Microsoft launched Stream, a new video service for businesses everywhere.

The program aims to give businesses that want the ability to share video internally the same kind of tools and flexibility that YouTube offers consumers, but with the additonal benefits of added security that businesses typically expect from their document management services.

The service is currently available as a free preview to interested enterprises.

James Phillips, Microsoft’s corporate VP of its Business Intelligence Products Group, reported that all it takes to get started with Stream is an email address. The user experience in Stream, like Vimeo and YouTube, takes cues from consumer services and includes a number of social features, including likes, comments, and recommendations.

Microsoft has previously offered a video service in the form of Office 365 Video but claims to have built up from that to create a more consistent and efficient program.

“Microsoft Stream builds upon the learnings success of Office 365 Video and over time the two experiences will converge with a seamless migration to ensure a consistent experience both within and outside of Office 365,” Phillips wrote in a release statement.

While avoiding paper can already save organizations an average of 11.5 cents per billing statement, Microsoft’s innovations provide the opportunity to save time and money. However, the office isn’t the only place Microsoft has been making waves lately.

Thanks to a new partnership between Microsoft and Boeing, Cortana is set to take to the skies.

Microsoft and Boeing announced a partnership that will involve transferring the flight company’s digital offerings over to Azure, which Microsoft claims will allow the servers to get smarter.

“Centralizing Boeing’s digital aviation applications on Azure will allow Boeing to analyze a large set of data provided from multiple sources,” a Microsoft spokesperson reported. “Boeing could use the Cortana Intelligence Suite to help airline operators more effectively manage inventory, more efficiently schedule pilots and cabin crews, or proactively schedule maintenance that might otherwise delay a flight based on the data intelligence they gather from the cloud.”

That being said, this is the very early stage of a partnership. The goal isn’t to have Cortana fly planes, but rather to utilize Microsoft’s program to expedite certain processes and therefore save time and eliminate extra effort wasted on unnecessarily repeated tasks.

Like the company’s partnership with Boeing, Microsoft’s new Stream service has intentions of creating a more streamlined and effective process of video sharing in a work environment.

Compared to Office 365 Video, Stream will leverage more of Microsoft’s pre-existing technology to offer a more consumer-like experience. The development teams working on the program hope to make features like speech-to-text, facial recognition, and automatic translations part of the experience in the future.

In the first stage, the program is fairly basic, but in the future, developers will have the ability to take the Microsoft Stream API and build new applications on top of it.

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