Office Mix: Bridge Between PowerPoint, Office 365 Video Services

Office Mix, Microsoft's interactive presentation technology, will act as a bridge between PowerPoint and the newly announced Office 365 Video service.

Microsoft Office 365 Video Service

Microsoft's upcoming cloud-based Office 365 Video offering for businesses will allow users to upload, share and manage video content. But what if they want to lend their videos a professional touch or add a little flair?

As it turns out, Microsoft is already working on updating a pre-existing tool for that, namely Office Mix.

Office Mix is a free PowerPoint add-on that allows users to create and share interactive presentations, which can optionally include video clips. Aimed at business professionals, educators and everyday users, Mix can be used to publish training material, quizzes and guided multimedia experiences.

After unveiling Office 365 Video, a YouTube for businesses, of sorts, Microsoft revealed even bigger plans for the technology.

Microsoft's PowerPoint Team took to the company's official blog on Nov. 18 to "pre-announce that Office Mix will let you publish to Office 365 Video from directly within PowerPoint." Although light on specifics, the group did reveal that the functionality is arriving "very soon."

Office Mix already has an export-to-video function, they explained. The updated solution promises to be a more full-featured, business-friendly implementation.

"We're now going to extend that capability from the individual to the organization with an end–to-end solution," wrote Microsoft's bloggers. "You will be able to structure your video in PowerPoint, author and enhance it with Office Mix, host it in Office 365 Video, and share it securely within your organization—all without the need for special tools or services." Office Mix, when used in conjunction with Office 365 Video, "makes video a first-class citizen" within a work environment, they said.

PowerPoint users will soon notice a new "Publish to O365 Video" option in the software's ribbon menu. Upon clicking it, a pop-up wizard walks users through the process.

"All you'll have to do is sign in to Office 365, choose a title, description and channel for your video and then click 'Publish.' When publish processing is done, you can click 'View your video' to see it in the Office 365 Video portal," the company said.

Office 365 Video is powered, in part, by Azure Media Services, the company's online video streaming and transcoding service for content producers. NBC used the service to host more than 6,000 hours of online video coverage of this year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The CW network and Microsoft's own Xbox video streaming service also use Azure Media Services.

Microsoft is now leveraging the technology to provide businesses with a secure, mobile-enabled video delivery and discovery platform. "Office 365 Video benefits from adaptive smooth streaming technology optimizing video playback for the device it's being viewed on," Mark Kashman, senior product manager for Microsoft Office 365, said in a statement.

It will also plug into the company's broader Office ecosystem to help foster collaboration. "It, too, leverages Yammer and the Office Graph to deliver a social, personalized experience within Office 365," he added.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...