Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) existing Office 365 Video platform will be replaced by a new video platform called Microsoft Stream, according to an announcement made by the company on July 18. Microsoft said that Stream would become “the de facto video experience in Office 365.” Stream was announced via the official Microsoft blog. A free preview of Microsoft Stream and a marketing video of the platform are available on Microsoft’s website.
Microsoft envisions Stream as a unified communications platform. According to the statement from the company, Microsoft Stream will have all of the features of Office 365 Video, plus additional features designed to create a comprehensive video platform aimed at business users. Microsoft calls its Stream video service a “new business video service that democratizes access to and discovery of video at work.”
Stream is built on top of Azure Media Services. Consumers can use a business email address to sign up and use Stream with their videos for free. Organizations can designate specific channels for marketing or training, archive and search videos, or keep track of recorded video using the platform. Videos can be shared via email or posted to the company’s website. Stream will integrate with Microsoft PowerApps, SharePoint, and Flow. Microsoft Flow is a business application to automate workflows among customer’s favorite apps and services.
In the future, Stream could include additional features such as seamless corporate broadcasting, intelligent video search, and video integration in business apps. Using Microsoft Stream APIs, partners will be able to create custom applications and make them available in AppSource, Microsoft’s marketplace for business applications. Microsoft has not announced when these new features will be coming to the market.
During the preview period, Microsoft Stream and Office 365 Video will co-exist, according to a statement by a Microsoft spokesperson. The company says that there will be no changes to Office 365 Video until Microsoft Stream is generally available. Existing Office 365 customers should continue to use Office 365 Video during the preview period. All content will eventually be migrated over to Microsoft Stream, and the company says that current Office 365 Video users shouldn’t lose any content during the migration.
Microsoft has not disclosed when it plans to start charging to use Stream, or the expected pricing. However, the company has said that it plans to keep a version of Stream free. The company expects to give out more details on different pricing packages by the end of the year.