You don't need a $20,000 computer to collaborate on a Word doc anymore. Microsoft's Project Rigel will bring a Skype Meeting experience to any meeting room with a display or projector.
Previously the videoconferencing collaboration technology was only available to users of Microsoft Surface Hub, a large screen computer ranging in price from $9,000 to $22,000.
If you're not familiar with how Surface Hub works or what collaboration with it may look like, here's a video.
Surface Hub married document collaboration, whiteboarding and video conferencing into a single system with the obvious drawback of the initial hardware investment. With wide ranging enterprise implications for AD&D pros, Project Rigel will:
- Democratize the technology. Project Rigel lowers the barrier to entry to any meeting room with a display or projector.
- Force Windows 10 upgrades. Rigel will only work on machines running Windows 10 so for enterprises that are holding back, this could be the push needed.
- Make Office a stronger application for collaboration. Google's suite of productivity apps led the charge in collaboration, making it free and easy co-edit documents, spreadsheets and slideshows. With this announcement, Microsoft could recapture lost market share.
- Push hardware investments in Polycom and Logitech. The two VC companies partnered with Microsoft and certified elements of their portfolios to work with Project Rigel. These include the Polycom RealPresence Trio and CX5100 and Logitech ConferenceCam Connect, ConferenceCam GROUP and PTZ Pro Camera.
In contrast to Microsoft's enterprise support, it will simultaneously pull Skype integration from smart TVs by mid 2016. The majority of users access Skype from mobile devices, even when in a room with a smart TV.
What kind of collaboration tools are you using and what value do you see in the video component? Comment below or find me on Twitter @nickjb.