Inside SaaS - May 16th, 2019 |

Inside SaaS (May 16th, 2019)

MSFT/Sony Parter for Cloud Gaming / Zoom Phone Update / Adobe Warns CC Users

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1. Microsoft and Sony announced a partnership in which the two rivals will "explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services." Through the unusual partnership, Microsoft will provide the cloud platform for Sony's future endeavors in cloud-based gaming and streaming, and the companies could work together to develop content or services for the gaming community jointly. The announcement also means that both Amazon and Google will miss out on providing cloud services to Sony. The companies said they would "share additional information when available.” —THE VERGE 

2. Zoom announced that its cloud PBX Zoom Phone service would be compatible with third-party calling services in a beta program launching in the UK and Australia later this month. Through the new feature, customers will be able to take advantage of features that are typically only offered by telecommunications providers, such as virtual remote numbers and toll-free messaging, according to analyst Irwin Lazar. Zoom's competitor Microsoft Teams already has a similar feature in use, called direct routing. —SEARCH UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS 


AT&T's 'Picturephone,' or FaceTiming in the 1960s

3. Although video chatting is an accepted part of everyday life, both through video conferencing and causal services like FaceTime, the concept of the video call wasn't too popular with customers when it was first introduced. On April 20, 1964, AT&T's Bell Labs showed off its Picturephone at the World's Fair, where participants in New York could speak to Disneyland visitors across the country. The Picturephone had acceptable video quality for the time, and it allowed users to choose whether they transmitted the video component of the call to the recipient. 

However, the concept failed to catch on at the time. A Bell engineer admitted that "we can't hope to provide Picturephone service for the ordinary residence and business office in the near future." AT&T started commercial Picturephone services in 1965 in three cities, but customers were limited to a pre-scheduled 15-minute call, and a three-minute call from New York to Washington D.C. cost the equivalent of $120. After cutting the price in half and moving the call booths to Bell's buildings, AT&T realized that customers still weren't very interested, and shelved the project in 1968. 

You can view a video of the Picturephone in action here, and read WIRED's writeup of the device here

4. Following Adobe's announcement that it would no longer offer downloads of older versions of Creative Cloud software, several users reported receiving emails stating that they are "no longer licensed" to be using the older software and could face "claims of infringement" from unnamed third parties. Adobe didn't indicate who would sue the users for using unlicensed software, but the company's Twitter account indicated the issues stem from “ongoing litigation," which could refer to a lawsuit filed against the company last year by Dolby. —VICE 

5. In what the company called a "long overdue move," Microsoft announced it will replace the 16-character limit for Azure AD accounts with a 256-character limit, although the minimum password length is still eight characters. —FORBES 

6. Egnyte announced Google G Suite is now integrated with its platform, allowing users to access and store their G Suite files from within Egnyte. —TECH CRUNCH 

7. The UK fashion brand Stella McCartney is partnering with Google Cloud for a pilot program that it hopes will improve transparency in the global fashion retail supply chain. —ECOTEXTILE 

8. IBM updated its Watson Studio machine learning platform with new features like data exploration, data preparation, Hadoop Distributions, and a collaborate interface. —ZDNET 

9. The Motley Fool's Tim Beyers writes that Shopify is the "Amazon of small businesses" — it has the potential to scale up with successful smaller businesses, like Amazon's AWS inception, and the small businesses can obtain the scale that "only Shopify can offer." —USA TODAY 

10. Luis Sanchez writes that although Zoom entered into the saturated market of video conferencing, its innovation, ease of use, fast load times, and customer satisfaction shows that Zoom's software "should have staying power." —YAHOO FINANCE 

Written and curated by Sean Wolfe. He is a tech reporter based in Brooklyn, New York, and has previously worked at Business Insider and GIE Media. Follow him on Twitter at @seanthomaswolfe.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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