Last night Skype announced the 2.8 Beta for Macintosh users. I’m not going to comment on the features, except to say congratulations to Jonathan Christensen and his team, who’ve been working at this for a while. There are several features in that product that make this PC bigot more than a little jealous.
The most interesting piece of that story for me, Mac-envy aside, has been watching the reaction from the bloggerati, especially Skype Journal, to the new screen sharing features. As the debate rages back and forth between Phil and Jim, it’s an especially good illustration of how blogs are different from mainstream publications. Clearly there isn’t an editorial direction at Skype Journal beyond “write about Skype”! Refreshing, isn’t it?
Oh, and just to throw my $.02 into the debate… I’ll wager that over the long term Skype is planning to enlarge the scope of that feature from a simple screen sharing feature to a much more sophisticated tool. If they’re smart, they’ll play “Microsoft” to all of their ISV’s “Symantec”, always leaving enough on the table for third parties to prosper. It’s clear, however, that the roll-up of collaboration features into a single client is a desirable experience for customers, and therefore something that Skype will do.
That’s the same bet we made with Calliflower when we rolled conference calling, group chat, and document sharing into a single experience.