Skype Power...#

So yesterday, as the Tech Ed conference center was emptying out, I get a request via MSN from Scott Hanselman, “Help a brother out, contact me via Skype, I want to show a friend of mine how good it is.”

Skype is beta Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) software, free to download, that lets you use your PC like a telephone, albeit just to contact other Skype users. Scott had a friend who was going overseas and wanted to stay in touch with loved ones.

I'd used Skype at home, but not on my laptop. So I had some reservations:

  • One of my fundamental rules at conferences is “Thou shalt not install software on your computer before you have finished all your sessions.” And I have one session to go.
  • I was connected to the Internet via the TechEd wireless network, which is not all that fast (there are 10,000 geeks online, after all) and is heavily filtered.
  • I have no external speakers or microphone set up for my laptop.

But Scott was persistant, so I figured what the heck, and downloaded Skype.

Now since it was the end of the day, there were relatively few people on the Tech Ed network, so my download went quickly. But what I didn't expect was that I could install the software, sign up an account, enter Scott as a contact and press connect in less than five minutes.

And I was totally blown away when Scott's voice came out over my laptop speakers clear and crisp, and even more stunned that he could hear me as well, although apparently I was quite quiet.

No tuning, no fiddling, no specialized hardware - download, install, connect, and it just works!

Friday, May 28, 2004 6:16:26 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) #    Comments [0]  | 


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