Microsoft GigJam: What You Need to Know

During the last few months of last year, Microsoft launched a nifty little project named Microsoft GigJam. The software giant certainly wasn’t too secretive about its development, but the name never actually made headlines until it was officially unveiled just a few days ago. So, what exactly is this Microsoft GigJam, and why should we exactly care? Here are all of the things that you need to know about this upcoming product.

Not a SharePoint Clone

Real-time collaboration tools are among the most popularly used productivity apps in the world today, even more so with the proliferation of faster and more reliable internet connections and speeds. But more than just telepresence, chatting, or even live group editing, GigJam advertises its features with deep integration in mind. As presented, it was designed with the purpose of “breaking down barriers between devices, apps and people.” Essentially, at least in concept, it combines relevant data, work community, business network and productivity tools into a single shared workspace (or work cards?) that users can freely optimize at their discretion.

Unimpeded Controlled Distribution

Does that sound a bit confusing? Let’s clarify that for a bit. GigJam is indeed advertised to extend ideas and share info on a variety of different devices, apps, and media. However, if its presentation is the actual glimpse of its final product, then it looks like actively editing files and data for different end-users will be just a thing of the past. In the given image sample for instance, a collaborative project can pull all the data it needs from relevant integrated services, with only the highlighted or green-lit info made for open distribution. In other words, GigJam can instantly send specific info packages to their respective departments… and nothing else. Thus, theoretically optimizing work for each of the members and/or parties involved.

Access is Simple, Usage is Intuitive

Okay, this is sounding more and more like an advertisement than a facts guide with each passing subtopic. But bear with us, this just gets better and better. Hand-defined gestures certainly aren’t a foreign concept to us, and GUI manipulation is just but an everyday experience to our digitally empowered lives. But when you see GigJam crossing out restricted info, and intuitively circling relevant work stuff like using a tablet stylus or something, then you’ve got a feature that can be more than just convenient. Remember the talk we have already about controlling info packages? Well, this is where fast and easy all boils down.

Office 365 is at its Centerpiece

Of course, as a Microsoft product it requires the rightful software that it can use as its center of operations, and that is none other than Office 365 (surprise!). While its concept and idea distribution features are used on a completely independent interface and platform, it is still designed to be fully optimized by Office 365. In fact, it is planned to be an integrated feature of the already integrated slew of Microsoft productivity suites, something that has been reiterated by the software giant itself when it was officially announced last week.

Not Google Wave 2.0 (hopefully)

If the concept of GigJam seems vastly familiar to some of our more power productivity users out there, it’s because it shares more or less the same framework as another integrated productivity service feature, the Google Wave. Unfortunately however, Google Wave’s implementation eventually fell down the incognito path that another familiar Google service also took a few years prior. Part of the problem that completely plagued the product on the get go is its ambiguity. In all of its integration and connectivity features, it was well… sort of alien to most users. This is perhaps what GigJam plans to fix with its ease-of-use and simplicity, but with a sample already known out there, we users can be more or less sure that Microsoft GigJam won’t be Google Wave 2.0.

Of course, everything is still just bites of what Microsoft has to fully offer for the product.  If you need more info on what Microsoft GigJam is eventually going to be, you might want to stay tuned to its official video channel for the latest development news and updates.

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