Looking to make screen-sharing more interactive so colleagues can collaborate directly in team video meetings using third-party apps, Microsoft unveiled Live Share this week, a Team SDK extension that is now in preview. This allows developers to customize applications so that users can co-edit and co-create when calling together.
The Azure Fluid Relay will be available in the middle of the year, but Microsoft has not said when the live share will be available.
Microsoft has added a variety of ways to interact with third-party apps in recent years, including the “Share to Stage” functionality announced last year that allows team users to access products like Mural and Miro during video calls. But previous updates have relied on teams to bring existing “multi-player” elements into third-party apps, allowing live share developers to customize a wide range of applications for use in Microsoft’s collaboration app, said Nicole Harskov, vice president of Microsoft Teams.
“It basically makes each app a ‘multiplayer’ app in a live meeting,” Harskovitz said in an interview before the build event. “It’s a really difficult problem to solve – a lot of apps aren’t built that way – but we’re making it a lot easier for developers.”
Some companies that are already building prototypes using the Live Share SDK include Frame.io, Hexagon and SkillSoft (these are not currently available to users).
With Hexagon’s 3D design and visualization software, for example, users can zoom in and out, manipulate models, view data, and even edit directly from the team. The developers of SkillSoft, a learning and development software platform, have created a live share functionality that allows any team meeting participant to pause and comment on a video.
Microsoft says it will start bringing more interactive experience to its own first-party apps.
Kevin Killer, co-founder of Microsoft Consultancy EnableUC, said: “Microsoft’s commitment to investing in teams as a platform demonstrates the ability to release live shares and Azure Fluid Relay services in the build.
“Whether the ability to share live is useful to end users, team app developers use this new platform feature that relies on interest, ingenuity and creativity.”
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