Can Microsoft compete with the likes of Snapchat and WhatsApp with its new take on photo sharing?
Today marks the launch of Microsoft's newest innovation, a photo sharing service that goes by the name 'Xim'. The main purpose of Xim is to simplify the sharing process across platforms by using Cloud technology, rather than app-based sharing, and can be used by Windows Phone users as well as those with Android or iOS devices. Microsoft is hoping to replace photo sharing services such as Snapchat, which require all users to have an app installed before sharing, thus freeing up precious storage space on your device.
Users wishing to share photos can create a 'Xim', which Microsoft says "expires after a little while", by selecting up to 50 photos to share with selected friends and family and believes that the new service will enhance the photo sharing experience in a number of ways.
Firstly, it avoids having to huddle around one device to show off your snaps, instead allowing recipients to peruse images on their own device at their leisure. Secondly, it can help to avoid potential embarrassment by allowing you to choose exactly which images you wish to share, rather than allowing people to swipe through your entire album, unfettered. The most distinctive feature though is Xim’s ability to give priority to host user for pinching and zooming, relaying the same gestures on recipient’s devices.
It'll be interesting to see if Microsoft can make its mark with this new method of photosharing, in a market which seems flooded by the likes of Flickr, Instagram, Shutterfly, Snapchat and Photobucket, all of which take time to sync with your devices’ photo album and store images indefinitely. Whether the service is as wildly successful as Microsoft hopes it will be remains to be seen, but having new and innovative options is always a positive as far as we’re concerned, and we’ll be keeping a keen eye out during its first days in the big, wide world.
You can download Xim here.