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WebRTC Solutions Week in Review: Microsoft, Atlassian, Unify

April 25, 2015

The embrace of open source technologies is at the top of the slate this week for its affect on both Microsoft and Atlassian while a recent survey of U.K. knowledge workers shows that they consider collaboration technology to be essential to their daily tasks.

Let's start out big by discussing Microsoft. Only three years ago, it jumped into the fray of open source with its Microsoft Open Technologies subsidiary that had the distinct intention of pairing company software and hardware with mainstays of the open source movement. In that short time leading up to the present, TMC's Peter Bernstein notes, Microsoft has affected Docker integration by building Azure HDInsight on Apache Hadoop and Linux, opened the source of .NET, and reached into the Web standards of HTML5, HTTP/2, and WebRTC/ORTC.

The recent blog post from Jean Paoli, the president of Microsoft Open Technologies, says now that the offshoot company will rejoin the main entity of Microsoft itself. This marks the end of a short but distinctive period in the history of the computing giant. Although there will be a rejoining, it is also clear that the embrace of open source has helped Microsoft work better with the community, so there is reason to think that it will continue to push forward along the same path no matter the title of its operation.

Atlassian, the developer of the Web-based collaboration tool HipChat, also recently made it known that it will bring open source into its ranks. Atlassian recently acquired video conferencing service BlueJimp, and although HipChat is proprietary technology, it may begin to take elements from the BlueJimp Videobridge video router which allows for video chat through WebRTC. It was made clear in the Atlassian announcement that Videobridge development will continue as an open source application. Multi-party video chat, mixing, and recording could all become part of HipChat as Atlassian continues to monitor how the community focuses its development efforts in Videobridge.

Finally, this week, it is worth noting a study, “Humanising the Enterprise,” that Unify completed recently in the U.K. Unify, a provider of unified communications software, surveyed 1,500 employees in the U.K. and asked them about their attitudes regarding workplace communications. The study found that 77 percent of respondents said collaboration technology was vital to their engagement with employees throughout the day and that 79 percent reported frustrations with the technologies that allowed them to make those engagements. Furthermore, 62 percent said they expect collaboration technology to be a greater part of their lives in the next two years. TMC notes that WebRTC could take a front seat in new applications because it can make enterprise-wide communication simple and effective.

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