Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Skype CEO Tony Bates Share the Stage

July 6, 2011

Facebook Skype Video and Group Chats Features Launch

July 6, 2011

Facebook announces video calling leveraging Skype! They also announced a new chat design that includes a sidebar that lists the people you message most. The sidebar adjusts with the size of your browser window, and it automatically appears when the window is wide enough. From the sidebar you just click your friend and then select video calling.

Facebook Livestream Users >40,000 users for Skype & Project Spartan (HTML5) News

July 6, 2011

Facebook Launching HTML5 Skype App?

July 6, 2011


I've griped for awhile about the lack of VoIP or video calling within Facebook and even pointed out some 3rd party Facebook VoIP "kludges", but none truly gained much traction. Well, tomorrowtoday, Facebook will be making two huge announcements. The first is that according to various sources, Facebook will be announcing  browser-based Skype video calling. The second is that Facebook will be announcing the release of Project Spartan, which is the codename for a an entirely HTML5-based platform, with the specific goal of reaching mobile users and in particular mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPad platforms.

Blue Jeans Network Launches Video Conferencing Service

June 29, 2011


Today, Blue Jeans Network announced the commercial availability of its cloud-based multi-party video conferencing service, which they've dubbed "any(ware) videoconferencing". I reviewed their impressive video conferencing product last month. I liked how their platform bridges together various business video solutions from Cisco/Tandberg, Polycom, Lifesize along with consumer video offerings from Skype and Google Talk. Users each get a private “meeting room” in the Blue Jeans cloud that they can use to schedule, host, and manage meetings through an easy web interface. Users can join the meeting using anything from a high-end Cisco/Tandberg videophone all the way down to a user running Skype and a cheap webcam.

As part of its public release, Blue Jeans announced that it has raised $23.5 million from Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Norwest Venture Partners.


Microsoft Office 365 Launches

June 28, 2011


Today, Microsoft officially launched Office 365, the "cloud-based" version of Office, featuring the entire Office productivity suite and collaboration capabilities. Office 365 offers a range of service plans with monthly prices ranging from $2 to $27 per user per month.

Office 365 offers each user a 25-gigabyte (GB) mailbox and lets them send email messages up to 25 megabytes (MB). Besides email you can shared documents, do instant messaging, share your Desktop, perform video and Web conferencing, and more. The feature-rich Lync client lets you view presence, send IMs, and make VoIP or video calls.


Social ENUM Platform Enables Facebook & Twitter Phone Calls

June 27, 2011


ENUM resolves phone numbers into a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) or IP addresses. It's basically "DNS" for phone numbers, mapping a person's phone number to the person's IP address on the network for routing the call over IP over a carrier's network. ENUM offered the promise of a single point of contact for all communication devices, that has largely been unfulfilled. Now, with the exponential rise of social media networks, people are starting to self-identify themselves with their Facebook username or Twitter account ID more than their phone number.

Skype Integrates Deeper with Facebook

June 20, 2011

Skype today announced beta version 5.5 for Windows which adds more Facebook features to its already tight integration with Facebook. The new version lets Skype for Windows v5.5 users instant message their Facebook friends via Skype, making Skype a nice consolidated app for all your IM needs. You can also comment on friend's Facebook status updates. You also have the ability to use the Facebook News Feed within Skype to "like" a friend's status or comment on it without logging into Facebook.

Top 20 VoIP Innovators of All Time

June 13, 2011


VoIP has come a long way since it was first popularized by VocalTec in the mid 1990s. Here is a slideshow of the Top 20 VoIP Innovators of all time with photo captions explaining why they merit this top 20 ranking. Most innovators are companies, but not all. Two important VoIP standards make the list, which cannot be attributed to a single individual or company.

Blue Jeans Network Bridges Skype, SIP, H.323 for Multipoint Telepresence Solution

May 9, 2011

Blue Jeans Network has been quietly developing a new cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration service that bridges H.323 and SIP end-points, PSTN — and even Skype, with the goal of allowing users to connect everything from high-end video telepresence systems like Tandberg/Cisco and Lifesize to web cams running Skype to desktop IP videophones from Polycom, Grandstream, Cisco, and others. This solves a major problem with video conferencing and telepresence since interoperability, while it has improved, still doesn't take into account legacy H.323 end-points or users that only have inexpensive webcams. Blue Jeans Network plans to support Google and Microsoft Lync as well. Their cloud-based service handles the transcoding of audio and video codecs as well as manages the meeting IDs, PINs, etc.
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