Qik Expands to Windows Mobile Platform

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Tomorrow Qik, the popular webcasting service that streams video from your phone, will announce support for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform. Actual support for phones will be rolled out in the coming months. To get things started, the site has launched an invite-only alpha for the Motorola Q and Samsung BlackJack. We’ve got invites for the first 50 TechCrunch readers who email techcrunch@qik.com.

Qik is an ultra-simple video broadcasting system that uses a cell phone’s camera to record video, which is streamed live to Qik’s servers. Viewers can watch the live streams from embedded players or from Qik’s site, and all content is archived for future reference. The service has turned into an essential tool for many people, even some unlikely ones – Robert Scoble, who declared that he was “only using HD camcorders” back in 2006 recently has become an an avid (and decidedly non-HD) Qik user: He recently used the service for an important interview with Twitter’s founders, defending himself by saying that he would have never been able to get the interview in the first place had he been dragging around his HD camcorder.

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.

We’ve grown to love Qik at TechCrunch: the service is ridiculously easy to use, and quality is usually surprisingly good for video that has been streamed over a cellular network. We used the service earlier today to live-stream an interview with Gmail project manager Todd Jackson, and earlier this month we used it to stream Bill Gates’s keynote at Advance08.

Qik has a number of competitors in this space, including Flixwagon and Kyte.

Greg Kumparak from MobileCrunch had a chance to sit down with Qik to talk about the partnership – Check out MobileCrunch for the interview transcript.

Update: Mike just interviewed Qik’s co-founder Bhaskar Roy using the service. Check out the embedded Qik video to get a sneak peek at the software running on a Samsung BlackJack.

http://qik.com/player.swf?streamname=47db6d36db644b15b57f22c55ac39432&vid=95041&playback=false&polling=false&user=techcrunch&userlock=true&islive=&username=anonymous

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