"Beaming" coming to Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Windows 8? [Rumor]

For those of you who were original Zune 30 owners in 2006, you may remember in the first iteration of that device and service had a feature called "Squirting". While hands down the worst name ever given to a function it was ingenious at the time. Basically it allowed you to share music with other Zune players via WiFi, something that was as far as we know not done at the time by anyone else. The Zune would detect other Zunes within 30 feet and allow you to effortlessly send over a song (or photo, podcast). After three days though (or a couple plays) DRM'd music would disappear--Microsoft wasn't inventing illegal file sharing for mobile here, folks. While brilliant, many complained it didn't go far enough (what about video?) and for various reasons, "squirting" was phased out.

Now rumor-starter MS_Nerd has Tweeted that Microsoft is bringing back "squirting", albeit with a new name simply "beaming". What's more, it will reportedly use NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth (depending on the devices) and will work seamlessly between the Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone. It's not clear when this would happen e.g. Windows Phone "Tango" (early 2012) or Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo" (second half 2012) nor what types of media would be allowed to be transferred.

Couple of things. Is this rumor legit? There's no confirmation, but in the video above from Infusion/Microsoft's 'The Future of Retail Banking' video, you can clearly see "beaming" in action between Windows Phone and a TV and then later, a tablet--perhaps this is what MS_Nerd was referring to in the first place? Regardless, it seems fairly obvious that Microsoft has Squirting v2 in mind. In addition, if Microsoft isn't thinking of rolling this out then shame on them because everyone else is doing nearly the same thing with NFC on board (e.g. Android, Nokia N900) and they did sort of pioneer such technology back in 2006.

We'll have to wait till 2012 though to see if any of this happens, but if we were a gambling site, we would put our money on Microsoft bringing this to their '3 screens'.

via: LiveSide

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • "Beaming" with an expire date makes no sense to me. Not everything inside our personal devices has copyrights. Think about transfering a photo between devices, etc...
  • To clarify, the expring aspect was only for DRM in music not photos. I'll modify to reflect that. I couldn't possible imagine them doing that for photos, Word documents, etc.
  • Ya, this has to be a push from Nokias side more than anything,  Lots of Nokia phones and other feature/dumb phones let you sned files (that aren't DRM'd) to each other over bluetooth.  I see no reasonw hy WP doesn't let me send at least pictures to other phones that way as well, if I want to share a picture with another phone I'll have to send it via MMS at this point.
  • Honestly I though they were going to have NFC support when Nokia came along. Since Nokia has it on a lot of their devices. But I also think we aren't using NFC to much other than a better kind of Bluetooth. Hopefully it being integrated in the next iteration of windows devices will get it to be used more. Also, does this mean that the next XBOX will have NFC??
  • I would say they demonstrated this at BUILD in their NFC workshop. They didnt use a mobile device, but they did "beam", well share, using NFC between Windows 8 tablets in exactly the same fashion.
    The problem with NFC in mobile devices is that its hard to get it working correctly all the time, hence even with Nokia NFC is not supported in all their devices (antenna issues etc etc). I think a lot of this will be via bluetooth and WiFi, though NFC no doubt has a big role to play in the way we "share" content and data
  • I had almost 3 Nokia devices with bluetooth in the past. All of them could transfer files via bluetooth, to any other device that had bluetooth reception for files. For years, I was able to share photos and documents with most of the devices in the market. I'm looking forward for a proper WP7 solution of this issue, because omissions like this, make our daily life much harder, especially when someone hasn't got an unlimited data plan or a free Wifi signal in every two meters (this is a reality on ly in America or Japan).
  • This makes sense. MS wants to create an ecosystem. In order to make it work the different devices of the ecosystem have to communicate effortlessly. That's what it is an ecosystem by definition.
  • This is great but seems like something microsoft will take a LONG time rolling out. They will wait for somebody else like apple or google to integrate the features then then play catch up. It's Microsofts history.
    However I hope this isn't the case and It's available in apollo.
  • My Optimus 7 already can send music and videos to my PC, Xbox 360 and smart TV.