Skype – What Took So Long To Finally Get Video?

Skype is announcing with much fan fare and delight that their latest beta of Skype is going to incorporate video. One would of thought that Skype would of jumped on the video band wagon long ago, so this latest announcement begs to ask the question? What took so long?

In a TechCrunch article it states:

The peer-to-peer technology ensures good quality video, and there is more space available for text chatting or sending files while the conversation is going. When you do a video chat, it really has the feeling of being in a video chat room. You can also pull in videos from Metacafe and DailyMotion (but not from YouTube). While Skype can handle up to 25 participants on the same call with voice, it is limited to one-to-one video chats at this point. Although, those can be combined with multi-party voice and text chats where everyone else just hears the audio. In comparison, Paltalk can do thousands of simultaneous video chats in a similar room-like environment.

The other major change in Skype 4.0 is that the entire experience is now centered around conversations and managing those conversations, whether those are with groups or individuals. Skype 4.0 lets you import contacts from Outlook, Outlook Express, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. (No Gmail, another snub to Google).

It is not like video technology just surfaced yesterday. But it seemed that Skype was content to limit themselves to voice only and that according to their CEO going to video is the ā€œbiggest new release in Skypeā€™s history.ā€ Though I commend Skype for moving forward, it is difficult to compare Skype entering into the video market as revolutionary.

Skype video is currently in beta testing so don’t expect perfection.

What do you think? Will you be giving Skype video a try?

Comments welcome.


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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.