Stream could be Microsoft's answer to YouTube but only for business users

Businesses of any size can sign up for the free preview version now

Microsoft Stream

Microsoft has announced its new Stream video service designed to make it easy for colleagues to upload and share videos across the workplace.

The free preview version of Microsoft Stream is now available, and anyone with a business email address can sign up to try it out.

Redmond is stressing the ease-of-use of the service – it's a snap to sign up (with no payment details required as it's free), and the interface is a simple drag-and-drop affair, so you won't break a sweat uploading and organising your video clips.

Users can share videos via email or embed them to web pages, and you can 'Like' your favourites and follow channels you're interested in. Stream also highlights trending videos with machine learning routines powering the selection of said clips.

Building on Office 365 Video

Redmond notes that Stream builds on the success of Office 365 Video, and that the eventual plan is that the two will converge, and Stream will effectively take over as the "de facto video experience" in Office 365.

But for the time being, though, Office 365 Video will remain unchanged, while Stream gets fully fleshed out and tested.

In a blog post, James Phillips, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Intelligence Products Group, commented: "This is only the start. We believe video is going to be truly transformative in the workplace."

Some powerful features are promised for the future of Stream, such as integration with business apps including PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and SharePoint, along with the ability to actually search within videos to find the part of the clip you need (utilising tech such as face detection and audio transcription). The latter will be very nifty indeed.

Article continues below