Items tagged with Skype

If there’s anything positive to take away from this summer’s NSA spying scandal, it might be the increased transparency of major tech companies, as Microsoft has its latest Law Enforcement Requests report for the first 6 months of 2013. Of course, a downside is that these companies still aren’t allowed to report requests from the FISA shadow court, so we have no way of knowing what agencies like the NSA are culling from Microsoft’s vast user base. But for what it’s worth, here are the numbers, sans FISA data: Microsoft received 37,196 requests in the first half of... Read more...
Let's stop harping on it. We've already discussed Microsoft's failures and shortcomings with their first generation of Surface and Surface RT devices. The company's $900 million dollar mistake has been bounced around along with Steve Ballmer's tenure ad nauseam and so it's probably no surprise that more than a few pundits and analysts are sounding off so negatively regarding Microsoft's recent Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 unveiling earlier this week.  They're too big, too expensive, not retina, too "Windows RT," whatever.  What is it about Microsoft that seemingly draws such a critical... Read more...
In the hardware world, even the best-selling devices eventually reach EOL (end-of-life) status. And, as fate would have it, it seems that the software world follows suit. But every now and again, a product is killed that leaves us scratching our heads. While Windows Phone 8 is clearly the premier mobile product for Microsoft, it sure doesn't feel as if Windows Phone 7 is that old. Plus, Microsoft owes what little success it has seen in the mobile realm to the early adopters who took a chance with WP7. Nevertheless, the company is axing support of its flagship VoIP app, Skype, on Windows Phone 7.... Read more...
Lest you forget that Microsoft has a new gaming console on the horizon, the company has been trickling out details surrounding it in the past few weeks. Next up? The audio side, and it's pretty impressive. Thanks to integration with Skype’s audio codec, Xbox One offers higher quality voice chat with the Xbox One Chat Headset compared to Xbox 360—whether you’re chatting in-game or through party chat with Skype on Xbox One. Microsoft claims that the console uses dedicated audio processing to handle Xbox One conversations via Skype and multiplayer party chats. On the controller side,... Read more...
If talking to someone on the other side of the world in 2D has got you down, you'll be happy to know that Microsoft has some big plans to change that in the future - and yes, Skype is involved. The idea is that with a 3D chat, it should feel more like you're actually "there", or at least give you an enhanced perception that you are. Microsoft notes that pulling this off isn't going to be easy, and hardware is almost entirely to blame. While 3D monitors and televisions are a dime a dozen (alright, not quite), 3D capture devices certainly are not. It's clear that we will see these creep up more and... Read more...
Gmail users have had access to built-in Google Voice calling (in North America, at least) for years now. With Microsoft exerting a renewed push on the Outlook.com, it's no real surprise to see Skype making the transition this week. A few months back, Microsoft announced that a preview of Skype video calling + messaging was arriving in Outlook.com windows, and now, it's going global. Well, almost. Skype for Outlook.com is now fully available in several countries around the globe including the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, France, Canada, and the United States. For those who reside outside of... Read more...
For months, there've been questions regarding just how secure Skype's encryption was. After Microsoft bought the VOIP company it began moving to a more centralized node structure that made it easier to scale the product but at the cost of intrinsic security. Now, it seems such concerns were valid -- new leaked documents from The Guardian allege that the NSA has an effective backdoor to all of Microsoft's online products including Skype, Outlook, and SkyDrive. While The Guardian doesn't have any slides to show this time around, it suggests that Microsoft has gone beyond the minimal amount of grudging... Read more...
And “voicemail” evolved. Microsoft announced on its Skype blog that the video chat service now offers a Skype Video Messaging feature that allows you to leave a video voicemail when one of your contacts is away. Skype Video Messaging is free, and you can leave a message by tapping or clicking the Video Message button and recording your message (up to three minutes in length). You can preview your recording (and if need be, delete and re-record it) before you hit the send button. When that contact next signs into Skype, she’ll receive the message. Skype Video Messaging is available... Read more...
In the week since word of the NSA's Boundless Informant and Prism programs leaked online, there's been a great deal of concern over to what degree various companies cooperated with the NSA's requests. Some companies, like Google, have pointed to their repeated requests for greater transparency. Twitter, of course, is the major social app that isn't on Prism's list at all. And then, there's Microsoft. It's been notably quiet since the Prism leak, and while the PR team has had its hands full dealing with the fallout over the Xbone E3 debacle, there's certainly been bandwidth for a situation as serious... Read more...
Skype is having security troubles again. According to great big red flag raised by a user on the Skype community forums, Skype accounts are extremely vulnerable--through Skype’s own support system. The user, Ximer, said on the forum that anyone can steal your Skype account with very little to go on; specifically, all one needs is 3-5 of your contacts on Skype; an email you’ve used on Skype at some point; and your first and last name. He notes that his account wasn’t “hacked” per se; it was simply stolen, using basic information to dupe Skype support into verifying... Read more...
Traditional phone companies are faced with the reality that it's cheaper to make calls over the Internet, and also relatively easy, even for novices. It shouldn't be all that shocking, then, to learn that Skype users are spending 2 billion collective minutes daily using Microsoft's VoIP software. To put that into perspective, 2 billion minutes is enough time to travel to the moon and back...over 225 thousand times! Alternately you could walk around the Earth more than 845 times or travel to Mars more than 5,400 times, Skype notes in a blog post announcing the record setting minutes usage. "2 billion... Read more...
Spending a lot of time not using the built-in Dialer on your iPhone? Then you may be interested to learn of the newest Skype update. Skype 4.6 has just been released for iPhone and iPad, which delivers an entirely fresh calling experience. There's also new one-to-one chats that appear in the correct order, an option to select your messages as 'Read' with less steps, and a smattering of new fixes and improvements. Skype for iPad version 4.6 supports iPad, iPad 2, iPad mini and the latest iPad with Retina Display, while Skype for iPhone version 4.6 supports iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone... Read more...
Logitech announced a new webcam designed for business, the Logitech Webcam C930e, and like its predecessors (including the C920-C), it’s laden with high-end features to make videoconferencing a more efficient, less distracting, and nicer-looking affair. The C930e boasts a 90-degree field of view, which Logitech says allows viewers to see an entire whiteboard during a meeting. Further, the Carl Zeiss-certified lens is built to eliminate fish-eye distortion, which is a nice touch. To allow the camera to more smoothly zoom in and out and move around to focus on various people or presentation... Read more...
Microsoft may be focusing efforts on making newly-acquired Skype the ideal VoIP communication tool for its own Windows Phone and Windows desktop platforms, but it understands the value of keeping a polished app experience over on another popular platform: iOS. This week, Skype 4.5 was released for iPhone and iPad, and the changes aren't insignificant. For both the phone and tablet, Skype has added automatic call recovery for dropped calls when using questionable Wi-Fi connections, installed a fix so that IM conversations appear in the right order, and added a marketing opt-in/out selector within... Read more...
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