First announced at this year's SharePoint Conference, Office 365 Video is close to becoming a reality. Today, Microsoft is announcing that it will begin rolling this new service out to business customers that are part of the company's First-Release program. The First-Release program is designed for those customers that want to be some of the very first users to try out planned features before they are released to the masses.

Office 365 Video is intended to deliver a modern portal for SharePoint and to provide organizations with a secure, single destination for posting, sharing and discovering internal video content. Azure Media Services works in the background to configure and deliver corporate video in the best possible viewing format.

Integrated with enterprise search, the videos are easily found and consumed. In addition, uploaded videos are discoverable in Delve and automatically available to Office Graph.

Earlier this year, Microsoft promised to expand and revolutionize its Office suite. Though still in limited beta, Microsoft Sway was one of the first new pieces to capture attention as a potential new Office suite application. Many have labeled Microsoft Sway as a possible replacement for PowerPoint, but really Sway doesn't offer the same capabilities (yet). So, Sway is not really a full Office suite application.

Office 365 Video is the first of what Microsoft is calling NextGen Portals. NextGen Portals is a take on the SharePoint concept, pulling together document management, search, dashboards, company intranets, wikis, blogs and more into a single, common "portal" that gives business users a central point for collaboration.

Office 365 Video is an included feature for Office 365 E1, E2, E3, and E4 subscriptions, but video storage will count against SharePoint Online team sites pooled storage. First-Release customers will start to gain access to Office 365 Video over the next few days and the service will be available to everyone else in early 2015. Office 365 Video will not be available for small business plans or Office 365 Dedicated plans.

Introducing Office 365 Video

What happens to a video file when you upload it into Office 365 Video?