vSkype adds voice, video, and application sharing to Skype

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Tom Keating
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vSkype adds voice, video, and application sharing to Skype

Santa Cruz Networks launched vSkype Beta, a plug-in that enables Skype users to engage in video, voice, and data sharing calls right from their client. This is now the second such software I have come across that adds videoconferencing to Skype. I recently blogged about a similar Skype plugin - Dialcom's Spontania video4skype application.

According to Santa Cruz Networks, "With vSkype, Skype users can now see who they are talking to while sharing applications, spreadsheets or photos in real-time. Whether one-to-one, in groups of 10, or in large meetings - face-to-face is better with vSkype."

“Video is one of the most highly requested features,” according to Skype. "It’s a natural extension from where we’re going," says Skype Chief Executive and co-founder Niklas Zennström.

“Skype has changed the communications paradigm and built a vibrant global community. vSkype is a natural extension to Skype and allows the community to come together in interesting new ways,” said Santa Cruz Networks CEO Stuart Jacobson. “Using our battle tested video and sharing technology, we are providing Skype users with the highest quality one-to-one and many-to-many video and data sharing experience possible.”

"There is a huge pent up demand among the Skype community for group communications. We see great commercial and consumer potential for products like vSkype that bring this community together,” said Jyve CEO Charles Carleton (www.jyve.com). “We at Jyve are very anxious to integrate the vSkype technology within our community to further stimulate user interaction and communication around common interests.”

vSkype Beta allows users to securely conduct video calls in groups from 2 to 200 and share applications, spreadsheets, presentations, or photos with others on a call. I'd like to see how a 200 person videoconference would perform. Anyone game for a massive Skype session?

In future releases users will be able to download and play Santa Cruz Network’s camera games with other Skype users and access our library of camera personalities, wallpaper, and drawing tools. Professional users will be provided with various call controls, white boarding, meeting moderation, bandwidth control, and recording and archiving tools through our network of partners.

"We offer the Skype API to expand quality voice and messaging communications around the globe," said Zennström. "With this API, Skype is now an open platform and we are keen to watch the world's innovative developer community integrate the Skype application to extend the potential of global communications."

vSkype Beta is available at www.vSkype.com and leverages the Skype API. The production version of vSkype will include both P2P and server-based configurations, improved group audio, and tighter integration with the Skype IM. vSkype Beta works on any Windows 2000/XP PC with a 450 Mhz processor or greater running Skype (www.skype.com). While not required, a headset microphone and a web cam are recommended.

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