Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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WebRTC Challenges

January 22, 2013

WebRTC holds a lot of promise, and with the buzz surrounding WebRTC beginning to reach a fever pitch, it's worth pointing out the challenges facing WebRTC.

First, let's begin with the expectations set for WebRTC. At TMC's recent WebRTC Conference, a panel discussed how WebRTC has high expecations. WebRTC has very ambitious goals, aiming to become the de facto standard by which users voice and video chat with other Internet users, which has the developer community and techies like myself very excited. Recently, I've written about WebRTC Demo fun, 2013 - The Year of WebRTC, and

Facebook Testing Free VoIP calling in Messenger app

January 3, 2013

Well, well, well - just days after my "Skype vs. Facebook - How WebRTC Will Turn Friends into Enemies" post where I said Facebook could crush Skype if they chose to get into VoIP, Facebook released a new version of Facebook Messenger for iOS that sports VoIP features.

According to the Verge, "Facebook today began testing a new feature in its Messenger app that lets Canadian users call each other for free anywhere they have a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. The test for now only applies to Messenger for iOS, but could roll out to Android users, as well as people worldwide, if the test goes well."

I just tried it out on my iPhone and so far it's only one-way voice messages that you record and send to your Facebook friends.

Skype vs. Facebook - How WebRTC Will Turn Friends into Enemies

December 27, 2012

Facebook and Skype currently enjoy a friendly relationship that all started back in 2011 when Facebook collaborated with Skype to integrate these two popular social networks. They then deepened their partnership by offering direct Facebook video calling. But I always wondered why Facebook didn't offer their own VoIP service. They own the largest social network in the world and could crush Skype if they so chose.

Skype for Windows 8 Launches Simultaneously with Windows 8 & Microsoft Surface

October 22, 2012

I predicted back in August, "I wouldn't be surprised though if this [Skype for Windows 8] simultaneously launches the same day as the Windows 8 Surface tablet - it certainly would be one of the first apps I'd try out on the new tablet. "

Well, looks like I was right. Microsoft is releasing Skype for Windows 8 on the same date that Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface tablet launches. I gave an early preview of the Skype for Windows app, which you can check out.

Looking at Microsoft's promotional video (below) it appears to show a later, more refined version than the beta I checked out.

Watchitoo's Playground Unveiled - Watch out Skype & Google Hangouts!

October 3, 2012

Watchitoo today unveiled Playground, their cloud-based video collaboration platform for small and medium businesses featuring up to 25 participants that can do video, screen sharing, chat, and file sharing. I did a demo of Playground last week and I was very impressed. During my demo with Watchitoo's CEO Rony Zarom and a PR representative we had 3 webcams streaming and he started a screen-sharing session. Next, he started a HD YouTube video.

WebRTC - Mobile Communications Game Changer or Flash in the Pan?

September 24, 2012

Came across Erik Lagerway's interesting guest post on discussing WebRTC and its potential to be a mobile game changer. WebRTC essentially embeds a standard-based real time Media Engine into all of the available browsers enabling real-time voice and video communication from your browser. Erik ponders the future leveraging WebRTC:

Imagine a world where no matter what we use or where we are we could all communicate via video, hassle-free, for free — native video from Apple devices to Samsung devices, from business phones to the TV in your living room, from your car to your home to a beach in Hawaii. That is what WebRTC can do for us.

Windows 8 & Windows 8 RT Metro/Modern UI Lync App Coming Soon

September 21, 2012

Not to be outdone by the Microsoft Skype, which released a touch-friendly Windows 8 Metro/Modern UI Skype app, Microsoft's Lync team announced a Lync app for Windows 8 and Windows RT also using Metro/Modern UI. This touch-friendly Lync app will be available in the Windows Store for both Windows 8 and Windows RT in late October according to the Lync Team Blog.

This will be part of Microsoft Lync 2013, the latest iteration of Microsoft's unified communications platform that brings instant messaging, VoIP, collaboration and video conferencing to the enterprise. In addition to the touch-optimized Lync app, new versions of Lync server and desktop client is coming soon, as well as newer versions of their mobile clients and a browser-based Lync Web app, which will now feature multiparty HD video, voice over IP (VoIP), instant messaging, and desktop, application, and PowerPoint sharing.

Gartner's 'Magic Quadrant for UC' - Cisco Bests Microsoft - Not!

September 11, 2012

Gartner recently posted their Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications along with their analysis of the UC market. As always Gartner's research is a fascinating and insightful read, but I do take slight issue where they positioned Cisco and Microsoft. First let's take a look at the Magic Quadrant:

You will see that Cisco and Microsoft are nearly touching one another and the top two companies within the Magic Quadrant, but Cisco slightly beats Microsoft in both the "leaders" and "visionaries" categories. I don't take issue with Cisco in the "leaders" category, since clearly Cisco has been doing enterprise VoIP, video conferencing and indeed UC longer than Microsoft with many more deployments.

I do however take issue with Cisco beating Microsoft in the "visionaries" category.

ooVoo Launches 4-Screen Multi-Party Video for Apple iOS & Android

August 21, 2012

ooVoo, a competitor to Skype today announced 4-way video chat that works on iOS and Android devices. I had a chance to speak with ooVoo representatives to discuss the news and of course, I used ooVoo during our conference call, as seen here:

ooVoo, is a large social video-chat provider with 54 million registered subscribers.  With the launch of ooVoo’s new mobile apps with support for 4 simultaneous video streams, they are currently the only major video conferencing product offering this - and for free.

Skype for Windows 8 Metro / Modern UI How-To Install

August 20, 2012

So you want to try out the new Skype Metro/Modern UI on Windows 8 do ya? Well so do I, so last week I found out how to download and install a leaked copy of Skype for Windows 8.

1. Download the file from here. (Ironic Microsoft wants to kill the name Metro yet their Skype team is still using it for their filenames!

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