365 Unplugged episode #5: Is Microsoft Stream ready for prime time?

In this week’s episode, Alistair and I discuss Microsoft Stream – the successor to Office 365 Video.

We wondering why both products still exist, what’s happening with external sharing, the migration from one platform to another, if people over-use video like they do with email (and I do recognise the hypocrisy of this being a video conversation…).

Watch for yourself:

First experiences with background blur in Microsoft Teams

Back in March this year, Microsoft announced the background blur feature coming to Microsoft Teams at the Enterprise Connect conference.

Here’s a link to the Microsoft blog talking about the feature: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2018/03/12/microsoft-teams-turns-1-advances-vision-for-intelligent-communications/

Here’s a link to a tweet mentioning it as well: https://twitter.com/MicrosoftTeams/status/973649909126660096

A few people took photos at the live demo, as found on blog posts by Pexip’s Graham Walsh and by fellow Microsoft MVP Tom Arbuthnot.

Recently I had this lit up in my tenant and have been using it wherever possible. Now, before any fellow MVPs cry NDA foul – I have been cleared by Microsoft to show what it looks like as I’ve linked to the already-available public content; so this is nothing new other than its availability in my tenant.

Here’s a video of a quick test in a solo meeting:


I’ve also run this in longer meetings with other people and found that there was no noticeable performance hit on my system (I’m running a Surface Book 2 with an i7 and 8GB RAM).

For people on the other end, the experience looked a bit like I was in front of a green screen in that the rendering of me vs. the background was noticeably different other than the obvious blur. I suspect this perception challenge was due to there being so much background to blur and so many objects providing a frame of depth, whereas I think if I was in a small meeting room with a wall behind me it would have been less perceptible.

Unfortunately, it is not listed on the Office 365 roadmap so I’m not able to give an indication of when it may be rolling out to production tenants. However as the Microsoft Ignite conference is around the corner and many announcements are banked up until then I suggest you follow me on Twitter as I’ll be sharing announcements as they come to hand (and if you’re attending come along to some of my sessions).