Berlin, July 20 2021. Nextcloud Talk 12 is designed to replace the big tech platforms with a privacy-respecting and decentralized alternative, introducing a range of popular features for both private and enterprise use. Microsoft is poised to shut down Skype-for-business, while Whatsapp upset millions of users by extending their data sharing with Facebook, a company that recently abused phone numbers given for other purposes for ads. With a hosted Nextcloud, enterprises, educational institutes and private users can immediately benefit from a decentralized, ad-free, surveillance-free communication experience.
Having a handful of huge corporations in control over the vast majority of communication of, basically, everyone, everywhere is a huge risk. Where are these companies located and under what jurisdiction do they operate? Can they just shut accounts down? Spy on communication? The ads-based business model of many big firms alone, essentially monetizing surveillance, should give pause.
- Frank Karlitschek, CEO at Nextcloud GmbH
WhatsApp promotes E2EE among its users, but this does in no way protect them from metadata harvesting, as important as the actual data according to the ACLU. Of course, through its app, Whatsapp, owned by Facebook, has access to all the data regardless of encryption anyway. Will that be abused? Previously, Facebook has been caught abusing phone numbers given for use with 2-factor authentication, for advertising purposes. In addition to other frequent security breaches, this proves that trusting so much data to one company is fundamentally risky as ‘free’ services are far from free from consequences for users.
Now, WhatsApp is aggressively pushing users to accept a new, vague and intransparent updated policy in a way that, according to EU consumer organizations, breaches the EU directives on Unfair Commercial Practices and, in general, the EU consumer rights.
Nextcloud Talk provides users with all the common features of instant messaging apps, such as one on one chat, group chat, video calls, message replies, voice messages, emojis, media sharing, read status setting and a lot more available on the web and mobile. Security and respect for privacy are the biggest advantages of Nextcloud Talk, putting users in control of their data.
As part of its aggressive SaaS strategy, Microsoft is retiring Skype-for-Business hosted on July 31st. While their on-premises platform will continue to exist for a while longer, the direction is clear. Enterprises that appreciate the control and privacy that come with on-premises collaboration can no longer rely on Microsoft for their communication.
Big tech firms have shown they cannot be trusted, but for many users there simply was no alternative. This release of Talk introduces the most important capabilities for both private users and businesses to start migrating.
- Jos Poortvliet, Director Marketing at Nextcloud GmbH
Nextcloud Hub 22 offers a complete collaboration alternative that is 100% on-premises, without vendor lock-in or (meta) data leaks. It offers a wide range of features Skype-for-Business does not. Among those are persistent chat, which offers a record of earlier conversations that is easily searched from within Nextcloud’s Unified Search. It is easy to create conversations, search and join conversations from other teams or invite guest users with a public link. Talk offers robust meeting capabilities, complete with moderation, a lobby, document sharing and collaborative editing and more. External users can join easily from a browser, without having the installation of an app forced on them.
Mobile users can now easily share photos, documents or contact details in a chat or share their location. Both web and mobile interfaces offer an easy way to share a voice message, another feature popular among younger users. Profile information and configuration and editable conversation descriptions complete the user experience on mobile.
Nextcloud Talk 12 expands on its integration with business workflows, allowing users to turn a chat message into a task, or share a task in a conversation. Conversations can be locked, a scheduled lobby can limit visibility for non-moderators and access to conversations can be configured for other users on the server, guest account users or guests that join with a public link. Outlook and Nextcloud Calendar integration makes it easy to create a Talk room with a single click. Messages can now be deleted by the user who created them for 6 hours after they are sent.
Not every business or individual is ready to run their own server. Luckily, hosting providers across the globe are starting to host Nextcloud Talk, giving users a local chat and video communication platform they can trust.
- Andreas Rode, CCO at Nextcloud GmbH
Nextcloud Talk 12 is available in the Nextcloud app store immediately, and hosted solutions are offered by major hosting providers including IONOS, Deutsche Telekom and others. The Sendent Nextcloud Outlook add-in is available through Nextcloud, a free version can be found on nextcloud.com/outlook.
Nextcloud Hub is the industry-leading, fully open source, on-premises team productivity platform, combining the easy user interface of consumer-grade cloud solutions with the security and compliance measures enterprises need. Nextcloud Hub brings together universal access to data through mobile, desktop and web interfaces with next-generation, on-premise secure communication and collaboration features like real-time document editing, chat and video calls, putting them under the direct control of IT and integrated with existing infrastructure.
Nextcloud’s easy and quick deployment, open, modular architecture and emphasis on security and advanced federation capabilities enable modern enterprises to leverage their existing file storage assets within and across the borders of their organization. For more information, visit nextcloud.com or follow @nextclouders on Twitter.
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