Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Skype P2P VoIP

Skype cuts SMS prices

May 3, 2007

PIKA Connect for Skype now platform agnostic

May 1, 2007

PIKA Technologies emailed me to let me know about the new version of PIKA Connect for Skype that is now "platform agnostic." Before their PIKA Connect for Skype only ran on Asterisk. The latest version lets application developers integrate Skype into PBX, IVR and other business communications system solutions.

Here's the news...
PIKA Technologies Inc., a designer and manufacturer of plug-in media-processing hardware and software building blocks that enable advanced voice and fax services, today announced an expansion to its PIKA Connect for Skype portfolio with the introduction of a version that is not Asterisk dependent.

The first release of PIKA Connect for Skype was targeted at the popular open-source Asterisk platform. Using this new technology, end users can now place outgoing and receive incoming calls via Skype in the same way they can with traditional PSTN ISDN, analog or IP calls.

PIKA has enhanced its PIKA Connect for Skype portfolio by now also facilitating connections between non-Asterisk environments and Skype, as well as making it easier for developers to program by adding it to PIKA's high-level programming interface (API) called MonteCarlo Grand Prix.

"This new version of PIKA Connect for Skype provides significant benefits to enterprise customers by supporting Skype virtual trunks in PBX, call center and IVR environments, alongside traditional analog and digital TDM trunks," says Petr Spacil, sales manager for PIKA distributor CTI Pro. "It also allows for an easy design of a gateway between any PBX or call-center system and the Skype network."

PIKA offers both server- and client-side components in PIKA Connect for Skype. On the server side, PIKA's patent-pending AllOnHost technology provides a PC processor-based, or host-based, engine that can handle real-time audio switching, call transfer, and media-processing functions.

ooVoo a new Video/IM communications client

April 20, 2007

ooVoo is a new IM/video client launching soon, but I'm not sure if this another softphone client aiming to knock off the king - Skype. Simon from ooVoo emailed me, "To celebrate the launch of ooVoo, a new video communication tool, we're looking for 1000 influential bloggers to participate in a unique event.

We're compiling a video scrapbook called 'Just A Minute' and we'd like you to be involved. You can tell us about your job, your family, your hobbies or interests.

Skype SMC WiFi phone and FON router bundle

April 13, 2007

Joanna Stern, a staff writer over at LAPTOP, forwarded me a story she wrote on a Skype (SMC) WiFi phone and FON router bundle being offered by Skype, which is similar to the SMC/Skype bundle I recalled seeing on Skype's blog a few months ago - but the added addition of FON support. If you're not familiar with the FON router, it allows you to securely share your wireless signal with others that are part of FON's very large WiFi community to enjoy free WiFi wherever you find another FON router. This opens up a huge opportunity for SMC Skype phone users since the phone doesn't have a web browser to authenticate onto "fee-based" WiFi networks. Stephen Pinches on the Skype blog discusses this in detail today. Joanna from LAPTOP makes this bundle even more enticing when she tells me, "Even better we are giving away10 free bundles to our readers." The 10 free bundles include a SMC WiFi phone, FON router, 500 SkypeOut minutes and a year's worth of free Skype voicemail for $159. 

Skype for Business Redux

April 13, 2007

According to ComputerWorld UK, Skype is testing an enterprise version of its VoIP service and has asked businesses with more than 1,000 employees if they're interested in getting in early. This isn't the first time Skype has tried to crack the enterprise market. It is interesting they are focusing on fairly large corporations. It's been my experience that the largest users of Skype tend to be small-to-medium businesses.

Skype 3.2 Beta for Windows with Send Money

March 28, 2007

Skype 3.2 Beta for Windows has just been made available for download at Skype 3.2 Beta for Windows now has the new "Send Money" via Paypal feature. Sweet! The list of new features include:

Importing contacts from more sources – Users can now import their contacts from web based email applications such as MSN Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. This makes it even easier for users to find and contact their friends using Skype, as well as enabling users to "Share Skype” with those friends not yet using Skype.
Video Snapshot – Video-calling in Skype recently emerged from Beta and we’re enhancing the Skype video experience even further by allowing users to instantly capture photos of themselves.

Office Communications Server 2007 Public Beta Launches

March 26, 2007

Recently I stated that Microsoft would launch the public beta of Office Communications Server 2007 later this month. Well, Microsoft gave me a heads up on the launching of their public beta of Office Communications Server 2007 which is available later today. The Public Beta code for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 + Communicator 2007 (client) will be available for download as of 10AM PDT (1PM EDT). Virtual PC images plus video demos will be available following week, which will allow IT staff to more easily trial OCS 2007 as a "virtual" turnkey solution.

Skype allows Paypal payments within client

March 22, 2007

Skype will soon allow users to send money to other Skype users via PayPal, a popular online payments system -- all from within the Skype client. This was announced by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom during a speech he gave. Both Skype and PayPal are owned by eBay, so the integration makes sense. “You can send money over Skype,” Mr Zennstrom said of the upcoming service plan.

BeyondTel's VM-01L Optical USB Skype mouse

March 14, 2007

Convergence seems to be all the rage, including combining multiple products and functions into a single product (i.e. iPod MP3 player + mobile phone = Apple iPhone). So perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn about a new Optical USB mouse from Beyondtel that supports Skype. Yeah, you guessed it, it's a clamshell USB mouse with a built-in microphone & speaker.

Skype Prime Allows Users to Charge for Calls

March 12, 2007

A beta of the Skype client recently made available allows users to charge for voice and video calls placed to their account through a new service called Skype Prime. eBay-owned Skype has developed Skype Prime to grant users the ability to either charge by the minute or a single charge for the entire call. Fees would be taken out of the caller's Skype account, and the called party would receive 70 percent of the proceeds collected, payable through PayPal, another eBay-owned proprietary. This is very similar to Ether, a service I have written about, except Ether gives you a separate phone number.
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