Skype v2.6 released and Skype 3.0 beta coming soon

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Skype v2.6 released and Skype 3.0 beta coming soon

Skype v3.0 betaLots of Skype news coming out of Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. First, Skype v2.6 beta was released today. It has the following new features:

- Click to call ordinary phone numbers on any website (optional install)
- Find and join Skypecasts in the Live tab.
- Share your favorite links in mood message. They’re clickable.
- Search the web with the Google Toolbar (optional install)

Looks like Skype is partnering for the two optional pieces. I haven't seen any announcements stating Google and Skype have partnered on Google Toolbar though. I'll have to install Skype v2.6 when I have a moment to see who the other optional piece is that lets you call phone numbers displayed on your browser.

In addition, I have been told from multiple sources at ITEXPO that the next major release of Skype, Skype 3.0 beta will be launched in mid-November. Skype v3.0 beta will have plugin support. At first I thought, "Wow! Cool. Skype is following the Firefox plugin model, which enables end users to add their own cool little features." Plugins are one reason why Firefox is so popular - due to the developer community it helped to spawn and develop.

But with further investigation I learned that the plugins feature is simply a tab within the Skype 3.0 application that will list several popular Skype third-party add-ons. Then you can simply select the ones you want and it will be a 1-click installation using a standard MSI, .exe or whatever other installer works on your operating system. I suppose bringing the best plugins into a tab within Skype is a good idea. It will expose casual Skypers to some of the best third-party Skype applications.

There is lots of news happening at ITEXPO and I will report back here when I find more time. Off to a meeting, so I am signing off for now...

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