Skype launched a new beta (version 188.8.131.52) today of its software for Windows that has some pretty neat new features.
Bill Campbell lists them all. The one I’ve set up straightaway is being able to send SMS messages from Skype to mobile phones which your friends or colleagues can then respond to – and you receive their messages on your mobile phone, not in Skype.
Setup is a simple procedure involving getting a verification code for your mobile phone from Skype which sends it as an SMS message:
Works great based on an SMS I sent to my wife. The cost is the same (€0.10 in The Netherlands) as if you had sent the SMS directly from your mobile phone.
It would be neat if you could also receive any SMS reply message in Skype if you wanted to.
Another feature that I will definitely try out is the Skypecasting service:
[…] Skypecasts are large, hosted calls on Skype. Let your opinion be heard on subjects close to your heart in groups of up to 100 people participating from anywhere in the world.
I plan to get to that one soon.
Overall, I’m pleased that this Skype beta works seamlessly with my Linksys Skype phone, a really useful device that is my primary means of using Skype for making and receiving calls. Then I noticed a link in Bill’s post to the Polycom Communicator speakerphone for Skype.
Not yet available in The Netherlands, more’s the pity…
This could be huge for bloggers and podcasters. We already had one of our blog readers suggest we do a big Q&A skype session. I’m intrigued, but a bit skeptical of the logistics.
It’s a great-looking feature. Re logistcis, if you’re referring to organizing many poeple, I think they’re the same logistics you’d have with organizing a ‘normal’ conference call.
Don’t you think that having ridden the freeloading OSS moniker for such a long time that it’s about time Skype did multiple platform releases? Firefox manages it most the time, why not Skype?
I imagine the majority of people run Skype on Windows, Dennis, so that’s undoubtedly why new stuff comes for that platform first.