Friday, June 6, 2008

TechCrunch and VentureBeat: Qik Announces Support for Windows Microsoft Platform

Techcrunch is reporting that Qik, the popular live mobile streaming service, will announce support for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform today which will open it up to other mobile devices within the coming months.

Qik has gained widespread acceptance as the defacto standard for streaming live video from your mobile through it's early adoption by video bloggers like Robert Scoble and Steve Garfield. It's competitors include Flixwagon and Kyte.

Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch says, "Up until now Qik has only been available on Nokia smartphones based on the S60 platform. Qik says that they plan to gradually introduce support for all Windows Mobile phones (presumably with a camera and high speed data plans), though they haven’t offered a timeline for this. The Windows Mobile platform represents an absolutely massive increase in the potential userbase for Qik - Microsoft expects to sell 20 million licenses in 2008 alone."

MobileCrunch also has a transcript of an interview that Greg Kumparak conducted with Bhaskar Roy, Co-Founder and VP Product Management of Qik, and Jackie Danicki, Director of Product Marketing here.

Roy said people are embracing Qik and using it for a variety of applications. He said, "We are actually seeing very good pickup overall, where people are using Qik to do a number of things from citizen journalism, to lifestyle applications, to healthcare, and just sharing things with friends and family. Live adds an element which recorded and edited video can not do, which is impromptu. Whatever I’m doing right now, people can see it, and people can appreciate that."

He added that Qik has some very unique interactive features highlighting that,"The best part is that when I’m streaming live I can actually interact with my audience. Whoever is watching that video can chat with me, and that chat shows up on my phone. It creates an engaged interaction with me and my viewers, something that you just can not get with an edited or an on-demand type of video… After you’re done, the stream is automatically archived, and you can download it, edit it, and repost it somewhere else. We’re not taking that capability away from users, but we’re providing the capability to stream it live. If you want to edit it, you’ll have the tools to do that as well."

Below is a Qik video Mike Arrington recorded of Bhaskar Roy discussing the service with the Qik software running on a Samsung BlackJack.

In a related story by VentureBeat, Qik comes to Windows Mobile. Not Qik enough for 3G iPhone, MG Siegler says the timing is poor for Qik and that "This announcement comes just days before Apple’s WWDC event where it is expected to unveil the 3G iPhone. This device will simply overshadow all other mobile announcements in the industry for quite some time. Another potential problem for Qik are the rumors of video streaming capabilities being a central part of this new iPhone. While it’s no sure bet, there have been signs that such functionality could be a key component of an iChat application Apple is working on for the device."

Siegler added that Qik has been non-committal to support the iPhone and,"With the 3G iPhone, it could be an issue of being ready to support it or being left in the dust. Especially with competitors like Flixwagon and Kyte out there. Flixwagon in particular may be poised to break out beyond the elite tech crowd that Qik is currently popular in."

Regardless of how things play out, Qik truly is a remarkable technology that's less than a year old and has the potential to explode with possibly millions of new users through it's partnership with Microsoft. Hopefully it will be able scale it's service to meet the demand and not fall into the same downtime issues that Twitter has experienced of late.