Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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VoIP news, trends, and opinions, VoIP reviews. Covering Asterisk, Cisco, Grandstream, Polycom, Microsoft, Vonage, Packet8, etc.

Polycom Launches CX7000, Microsoft Lync Telepresence Solution

July 11, 2011


Polycom today announced the Polycom CX7000 Unified Collaboration System, what they claim is the "first room video telepresence solution custom-built for full integration with Microsoft Lync." It's an interesting solution that combines a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, omni-directional full-duplex speakerphone, a high-end camera, and a small footprint PC, which I'm guessing is running some flavor of Windows in order to run the Microsoft Lync client.
 
According to Polycom, the Polycom CX7000 solution (codenamed “Rally”) features an especially tight integration between the Polycom and Microsoft solutions, with an intuitive interface, simplified UC experience, and more seamless telepresence. The solution offers all the typical Lync features you need: presence, IM, online meetings, content collaboration, etc.

“The power of UC is to eliminate barriers to teamwork and bring people face-to-face. Polycom and Microsoft share a passion for delivering easy-to-use UC solutions that transform businesses into highly collaborative environments,” said Andrew Miller, president and CEO, Polycom.




Spirit DSP and Polycom Ink Licensing Deal on Polycom CX5000

July 7, 2011


Today, SPIRIT DSP signed their fifth licensing agreement with Polycom. Polycom has licensed SPIRIT's product to support quality videoconferencing on the CX5000 Unified Conference Station, Polycom's branded version of the Microsoft RoundTable, which I reviewed here.

As a Polycom-branded version of the Microsoft RoundTable collaboration and conferencing device, the CX5000 system provides engaging group telepresence and also can be used as an analog conference phone.
 
The Polycom CX5000 Unified Conference Station makes for an engaging group video experience to Microsoft Live Meeting session or to Microsoft Office Communicator conversation.  With five cameras and six microphones, the CX5000 is primarily a USB peripheral device that delivers a unique, engaging 360-degree group video experience to Live Meeting 2007 applications, and when used only with Microsoft Office Communication 2007, the client functions as a video switched webcam.  Interestingly, there is no mention of support on Polycom's website for the latest version of OCS now called Microsoft Lync. It should work with it since it is a USB webcam, though I heard it may only display the standard active speaker view and not the panoramic 360 degree view.




How Skype Works With Facebook

July 7, 2011


                      7/7/11 Video Interview with Jonathan Rosenberg and Chaim Haas

I interviewed Jonathan Rosenberg, Skype's Chief Technology Strategist, to get the inside scoop on how Skype works with Facebook from a technical perspective. It was an interesting interview that covered topics such as whether the Facebook Skype plugin acts as a supernode, how Skype's architecture communicates with Facebook's architecture, group video calling, PSTN calling via Facebook, and the future direction of Skype within Facebook.

Essentially, the Facebook Skype plugin that you download and install the first time you make a Skype call within Facebook is a plugin that is a "mini-version" of the full Skype client. The mini version of Skype  removes the Skype UI and is compacted down allowing it to be plugged into a browser.

Tom: Could this plugin be used in other places/sites or was it designed specifically with Facebook in mind?

Jonathan: Right now it is 100% focused on Facebook and in fact it's locked to Facebook. You would not be able to use it on another website even if another website tried.








Skype Users Make 300 Million Minutes of Video Calling Per Month

July 6, 2011

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.

magicJack Plus Review

June 30, 2011

The magicJack Plus is due out very soon, perhaps as early as next month, but I was able to get an early sneak peek at it for a review. The big new feature in the MagicJack Plus is that it sports an on-board ARM CPU, which means you can make calls without the need for the MagicJack Plus to be connected to a PC. It looks almost identical to the original magicJack USB stick, but it now has an Ethernet jack for connecting to any broadband connection, enabling PC-less VoIP calling.

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.


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