Silverlight is gone! Microsoft has promoted SharePoint as supporting rich media like training and marketing videos. This capability is designed to include features such as thumbnails, and document sets for videos (an interesting concept – access the video as well as training documents or other materials as part of the document set). Site owners can define standard sizes (i.e., renditions) for how rich media is accessed and presented. Content authors can resize and crop images without other applications.

Another interesting feature is the ability to drag and drop videos onto sites and set the frame image that will be presented to the user as the thumbnail. Multiple stream rates can be set up as well.

Our Take: While these powerful features are easy to utilize, it is clear that to be truly effective in an enterprise environment, providing rich media in SharePoint 2013 should be treated as a service offered by IT. This service will likely include considerable customization of master pages and other pages to support the presentation layer and optimize usability. An example is providing “channels” for users to access large amounts of videos and rich media. These are actually publishing pages. IT organizations will absolutely need to develop a strategy, a service, templates, and training to truly use these new features effectively.

Stay tuned as we release more of this 11-part series from our whitepaper on SharePoint 2013′s newest features right here on our blog for your reading pleasure. But, why wait? You can download the whitepaper in its entirety now.

Let us know your comments, questions and conerns as you read through the document.

Microsoft SharePoint 2013: An Overview