Are You There? Skype is My Traveling Geeks Lifeline #TG2009

by on July 9, 2009 at 2:07 am

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Every night I can’t wait to get back to my room and Skype my husband. Seeing his beautiful face is the perfect end to my days as a Traveling Geek here in London.

This morning we were treated to a lovely lunch at Malmaison and I was lucky enough to score a seat next to Neil Dodd, Windows Experience Manager at Skype London. Neil just completed Skype 4.1 Gold for Windows and it has some valuable new features that you will want to know about.

Download Skype 4.1 for Windows

Ayelet Hoff, Blonde2.0 and Neil Dodd, Windows Experience Manager, Skype

Though Skype 4.1 is only  for Windows today,  the Mac 2.8 Beta out now will go “Gold” in a few weeks.

I’ve been using GoTo Meeting nearly every day lately, and I’m going to try out one of the newest features of Skype which is screen sharing.

Screen sharing includes swapping between people, so no matter who originates the call, you can trade screen sharing back and forth. Screen sharing is compatible with anyone’s past version of Skype – anyone can see your screen. For them to share back, however, they will need to  upgrade, so check that first before you start your call.

This week I saw a demo of Huddle (which I will write more about soon), which is a new collaboration tool and it has conference calling built in, which is now an important requirement of collaboration tools. The face that Skype has screen sharing will make it all that more invaluable as a part of our everyday applications.
According to Neil Dodd, this release is just the start of collaboration tools from Skype. Probably if I were as good a reporter as Sarah Lacy, here on the trip with me as a fellow Geek, I’d have gotten more of a scoop for you.

Another incredibly helpful feature is called Skype Access. It’s a tool built into the Skype client that allows you to connect to compatible WiFi hotspots and pay for that access with your Skype credit by the minute. Instead of purchasing a whole day pass, you can make micropayments for quick stop overs in airports and Starbucks. Skype Access is Mac-only for now. That’s  a nice change!

Next time you travel, try managing the WiFi access point from your Skype client instead of from your browser. Boingo compatible WiFi hotspots are currently supported which is actually the bulk of WiFi according to Neil. Many hotspots might be branded something else, but are actually Boingo. So give it a try.

And, for a connector like me, my favorite new feature of Skype is a new extended contact import feature so you can find your friends and contacts on Skype. Before you pick up the phone or email, you can have a more novel experience by Skyping your friend. Now with the new Contact Uploader, you supply your credentials to a raft of contact systems and they will be matched against the Skype user directory and sent an authorization request. You can control to whom you send requests and edit the email that gets sent.

Using Skype video is such a more fun connection occaison than an email that I’m going to give the uploader a shot at matching some folks from my database as soon as I get home.

Hope you enjoyed the update from Skype.

Signing off until tomorrow. Tim is online and I’m going Skype him right now!

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