Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social networking giant was planning to launch "something awesome" on Wednesday. As many theorized, the big announcement was Skype video calling integrated into Facebook.
Users can make video calls directly from their friend's profile, by using the new "Call" button sitting between the "Message" and "Poke." Additionally, users can make video calls via their Chat sidebar, by clicking on a video camera icon.
Other changes have been made to chat as well, with the sidebar getting some changes. It now pops up automatically whenever the browser window is large enough ... it is "social networking" after all, and it also shows the people you message most by default.
Additionally, chat now includes the ability to Group Chat. To add more folks to a conversation, you simply click Add Friends to Chat.
Good heavens, is nothing sacred? The last thing we want to have happen after silently logging into Facebook to see what your awful friends are up to is have a distant relative shoot you a Video Call. Can't I just complain silently about people I don't like but can't unfriend for fear of reprisal in peace? Did we lose a war?
But seriously, folks. Not only is this a huge deal for Skype, but it's also a huge deal for Microsoft. Lest we forget, Microsoft is in the final stages of being the new owner for Skype?
I'm curious to know if Microsoft knew of these negotiations ahead of time and if they impacted their decision to purchase in any way. I don't know about you, but Facebook is generally blocked at the clients I've been to. However, it would be just about the easiest thing for a client to do to enable Video Chat for their users if they just went ahead and allowed Facebook to be viewed. Boom, instant Worldwide Video Chat! No software CDs needed to install those badboys.
What about you, will you enable Facebook now that Grandmas and CTOs can see each other any time of the day? Or will you continue to rule the internets with an iron fist?
This article originally appeared on Technorati.
This is my next:
Skype will be made into a new business division at Microsoft, with Skype CEO Tony Bates taking on the role of President of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting to Steve Ballmer directly.
Together they’ll be building Skype support into Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone, and of course Windows, with new compatibilities for Microsoft’s Lync, Outlook, and Xbox Live users to chat with Skypeland. Interestingly, there’s no mention of Windows Live Messenger in the press release, so Microsoft might be folding that into this “Skype” of the future (which would make sense). And a sigh of relief for existing Skype users: Microsoft promises to “invest in and support” Skype on non-Microsoft platforms.
Folks, I don’t want to alarm you. But I have to; Microsoft has purchased Skype for $8.5b.
Even worse, the original numbers hovered around $7b, but what’s nearly $2b between friends?
Skype has been a noted company that cannot make money year over year, and was even tossed around between eBay previously. Sort of like an old shirt that gets passed around at Christmas time. Nobody liked that shirt, grandma.
The real question is what is Microsoft thinking? Do they consider FaceTime that much of a threat in the mobile and no desktop space? What about the Video Conferencing software that MS has released in recent years? Is this the end of Messenger? (I hope so)
The cool thing about this purchase, to me, is that Skype should be coming to the 360 soon. I have relatives with laptops and webcams that I Skype with on my iPhone, but it would be nice to be able to integrate with the 360, too. No longer will we be stunk with some terribly designed Windows software.
So what’s Microsoft’s endgame? They now have a reliable VOIP service with hundreds of millions of users, software on just about every major phone and mobile OS, and a built-in user base on the desktop.
Whether it was worth nearly $10b remains to be seen.
A recently discovered zero-day bug in the Mac version of Skype allows hackers to gain control of the user's system by sending a malicious instant message. According to Australian security consultancy company Pure Hacking, the vulnerability in Skype is dangerous and would allow anyone with the know-how to gain control of a Mac by simply sending a malicious instant message.
In a blog post, Gordon Maddern of Pure Hacking explained that he first discovered the bug when he sent a client’s payload to his colleague on Skype.
He later confirmed his suspicions by crafting a proof-of-concept malicious pay-load and testing it on Skype.
“The long and the short of it is that an attacker needs only to send a victim a message and they can gain remote control of the victims Mac. It is extremely wormable and dangerous,” he wrote on the blog.
That sound you just heard was millions of Mac users falling down from their high horse.
Way back when the most recent update to Skype had come out, Mac nerds all over the world were complaining about its design flaws. The sad reality was now the Mac version was starting to look like its bloated PC counterpoint. Have you ever used Skype on Windows? It takes up just about the entire screen. Let's scale that back a bit, eh, Skype?
I usually just use the Skype application on my iPhone, but even then I usually ignore all calls that come into my phone. Who wants to talk on a telephone anymore? Let's be honest here. Just text me so we can pass the awkward phone conversations that would no doubt take place.
Aside from the stingy design complaints, this is arguably the most notable Mac vulnerability I can think of. Just about every Mac user I know uses Skype all the time. And generally, they're on the up and up when it comes to updates. Sadly, this means that just about every Mac user I know is completely vulnerable to hackers. If you're in the enterprise field, hopefully your team has a backup plan to install a previous version of Skype. If not, you can always reach out to Trigon.
Sure, this would be a big, hairy merger, but look at it this way: In one swoop, Facebook would dominate what I’ve maintained is both the new age and classic social networking. They have people’s credit cards; they have their real-world phone information; and in the end, they have a better, more useful, social graph than Facebook itself.
The Skype-Facebook client on the desktop would mean both Facebook and Skype will be jointly in people’s faces, and take time away from other web services, such as Google. A simple search box inside the Skype client, and the two companies are starting to take attention away from arch-nemesis, Google.
If there is one thing people need more of while using VoIP services at work, it's Facebook. As an IT support company based in the great city of Wayne, PA, the implications of such mergers are mind-boggling. Or is it mind-bottling?
Speaking of mind-boggling, Facebook is slowly becoming the next Google, getting their hands in seemingly everything. First it was Farmville, what's next, VoIP? OMG, that's what I'm writing about right now!
But seriously, why wouldn't Facebook considered buying Skype? You could have integrated video chat inside of their website to chat with friends, you'd automatically have a log-in associated with your Facebook credentials. If this happened, Skype would automatigically have, what, 500 million new users
I'd be curious to know of companies that use Skype to communicate with each other would then unblock Facebook from their frowned-upon website lists. Sounds to me like general productivity would take a nose-dive. Sorry, those TPS reports will have to wait, I'm Skypebooking with my wife. I forgot to water her Farmville plants.
I assume that's how kids talk these days.
Channel Partners will help businesses set up Skype and buy and use Skype products. For example, they will help Skype Manager customers use and manage the Skype Business Client on their desktop and mobile phones via business accounts or connect their existing private branch exchange (PBX) or Unified Communications (UC) systems to Skype using Skype Connect.
Doesn't that sound like pretty much the greatest job of all-time? Well, next to being actual IT guy, I suppose. Boy is it awesome!
Skype becoming public has shown that they are opening up new ways to bring in the cash, and this could be one of them. If you have a slick connection at your workplace, why not look into Skype pricing as opposed to other VOiP options? Not only that, but what other VOiP options include video calling? I don't know about you, but I'd love for my boss to see me wearing my Spider-Man pajamas while fielding calls in my home office. As a side note, how annoying is it to type out "VOiP" and have to worry about that goody capitalization? I literally spent 10 minutes rereading it to make sure I de-capitalized the right letter.
Gmail Voice just came into the fray, and that is free for the end of the year. If you're running Google Apps at work, you'd be plain silly not to look into Gmail Voice. Silly, I say.
IT Mobility | Thanks to the new Skype application, it is now possible to use your second generation iPod Touch to place phone calls. This is done by the use of VoIP technology, so naturally you will need to have access to a Wi-Fi network. The application allows you to place free calls to other Skype users as well as make paid calls, starting at 2.1 cents per minute, to cell phones and landlines. However, unlike the desktop version of Skype, you cannot make video or conference calls. The up side to this is that the application allows users to accept a conference call.
To get started, all a user needs is the install the application. There are no software upgrades necessary, but the purchase of a set of headphones with a built in microphone. Being that the original Touch does not have an audio in capability, this application is useless when installed on it.
If you have no experience with Skype, the calls are loud and clear with the average call between Skype users having better quality then the average cell phone connection. Some testers of the new application so that the Skype to Skype calls over the iPod Touch maintain this quality, but the calls placed to cell phones and landlines were not quite as sharp. However, they are still comparable to the quality of a typical cell phone call. So of the other complaints users are having is that the application is sometimes to respond to taps on the touch screen.
This does not allow users to ditch their cell phones, but it does create another option in certain situations. For example, if their home or office is in a dead zone and gets poor cell phone reception, this will allow them to call out though their network and not have to deal with having a poor quality phone call.