Items tagged with Skype

Microsoft’s Skype Translator just received a big update, which is available to testers in the Windows Insider Program. Since its inception in 2014, the Skype Translator has been available to users making Skype-to-Skype calls, however, this latest update enables voice translation for Skype calls made to both mobile phones and landlines as long as you have enough Skype Credits or a Skype subscription. Windows Insiders will simply need to have the latest Insider Preview build of Windows 10 installed along with the Skype Preview app. Once those requirements are met, you need to punch in the number you’d like to dial, after which a Skype Translator button will appear (this will give you access... Read more...
If you’re a Windows Insider, then you have a nifty little feature to try out in the latest Skype Preview for both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. The latest update to Microsoft’s premiere messaging app allows you to both send and receive text messages via your Windows 10 PC using the SMS relay feature. The only catch is that the Skype Preview must be set as your default messaging app on your Windows 10 Mobile device. “There’s no need to reach for your phone – you can view new messages as they arrive and respond to messages from your computer,” writes Microsoft’s Suzanne Choney in a blog posting. “Send and receive texts, group messages and photos all in one app with a single view of your SMS... Read more...
Skype was founded in the city of London way back in 2003. Unfortunately, Skype’s newest office in that same city is coming under Microsoft’s surgical scalpel in a fresh round of layoffs. Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011 for a staggering (at the time) $8.5 billion, and perhaps its investment isn’t paying off as handsomely as originally expected – especially with the rise of hugely popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Microsoft is closing its European headquarters in a concerted consolidation effort, putting nearly 400 jobs on ice. According to the Financial Times, Microsoft has “made the decision to unify some engineering positions, potentially putting at risk a number... Read more...
Microsoft's been on a mission to bring a series of artificially intelligent chatbots to its Skype service as a way to enhance Skype and offer new experiences. That effort continues today with the introduction several more Skype Bots, including Spock, who can help you learn the ways of Vulcan logic (or provide a distraction from work). This whole bot thing kicked off in April when Microsoft rolled out a series of preview Skype Bots. They've been well received and there are now over 30,000 developers building bots on the Skype platform, with thousands able to share their bots through a Skype join link directly on their website. That's pretty incredible for such a short amount of time. Part of the... Read more...
At its Build conference this past spring, Microsoft unveiled the latest killer feature for its Skype service: Chatbots. Chatbots are bots, as the name implies, that can chat intelligently with users to give them the information they're looking for quickly and easily. While customer service is a focal point of many chatbots, we've likely yet to see the full potential of these natural language-equipped AI beings. In fact, we've yet to see the full potential of chatbot adoption, too. In a recent blog post, Microsoft notes that an impressive 30,000 developers have begun working with Skype's chatbots feature since it was announced, and given that initial surge, the company isn't planning to slow... Read more...
Looking to save a few bucks on your videoconferencing needs? Microsoft has your back with Skype Meetings, essentially a lightweight version of Skype for Business. It's free to use for up to 10 people at at time (for the first 60 days, then it drops to 3 people), all you need is an Internet connection, web browser, speaker, and camera, all of which are bundled on most modern devices. Skype Meetings provides small businesses with real-time audio and HD videoconferences. It also boasts collaboration features, such as the ability to share screens and content during meetings. When you setup a Skype Meeting, you can send out a personalized URL for others to click and join. And during the meeting, participants... Read more...
Starship isn’t just the name of a rocking 80’s band or an interstellar spacecraft -- it is also the name of a new company by former Skype co-founders which intends to improve local deliveries through self-driving, autonomous robots. A friendly little robot could soon be delivering your pepperoni pizza instead of a moody neighborhood teen. Ahti Heinla, a Skype co-founder and CEO at Starship Technologies remarked, “Our vision revolves around three zeroes – zero cost, zero waiting time and zero environmental impact. We want to do to local deliveries what Skype did to telecommunications.” Starship Technologies is getting ready to introduce small, environmentally-friendly, earth-bound delivery robots.... Read more...
Cyanogen 13.1 is rolling out to the OnePlus One. The OnePlus One will feature MOD, an integrated mobile platform that was first announced in February and is now officially available. MOD enables mods on phones or “ intelligent, contextually aware, and lightweight experiences built natively into the mobile operating system.” Third party apps can now take advantage of platform APIs, with a prominent one allowing you to view Twitter feeds on your lock screen. Users will simply need to wake up their phone and swipe left in order to have access to their Twitter feed. Users can also call or Skype contacts directly from within the phone app. Skype contacts will be clearly marked and searchable... Read more...
In case it hasn't proven obvious enough up to this point, Facebook cares a lot about its Messenger platform. When the company decided to force migrate people over to its standalone Messenger service two summers ago, it was a hint of what was to come. Over the past couple of years, it's become increasingly clear that Messenger could become as important as Facebook itself. Less than two weeks ago, we learned that Facebook would be employing "Chatbots" on its Messenger service, which would allow companies to automatically respond to certain queries submitted by users, reducing the need for a real person to handle every question. In February, we learned that Facebook is also planning to bring advertising... Read more...
Bots are taking over, folks. Do you hear us? We said bots are taking over! But don't worry, we're not talking about the inevitable kowtowing of humans to our future robot overlords, these are software bots for Skype that are now available on Mac systems, and they're friendly. They're also useful in certain situations, which is why Microsoft is so keen on pushing out Skype Bots.Microsoft introduced Skype Bots earlier in the month at Microsoft's Build 2016 conference as a way to enhance the Skype experience and also to showcase how these artificial intelligence technologies can bring about new experiences. Some are helpful in what they do, like summarizing webpages or looking up images, while others... Read more...
Since its launch in 2013, Slack has risen to superstardom. In a recent blog post, the company highlighted some of its recent milestones, which includes hitting 2.3 million daily active users by its second anniversary, over 675,000 paid seats, and over $64 million in annual revenue. Not bad for a software solution that came out of nowhere just a couple of years ago. Given its meteoric success, it's only a matter of time before this cloud-based collaboration tool gets snapped up by a bigger company, but that company apparently isn't going to be Microsoft. According to TechCrunch, Microsoft apparently mulled the idea of acquiring Slack but instead decided to double-down on its Skype focus. Microsoft's... Read more...
Since its initial release over a decade ago, Skype has evolved to become the de facto application for those wanting to chat online. It works great as a simple messenger, but also quite well for 1v1 video chats, or even group chats. While the service might have its own caveats, its reliability has effectively locked in a great number of people. Because of its reliability, even game streamers have adopted its use to chat with fans during a broadcast. But up until this point, there has been a serious flaw tying into this: users could quite easily discover the IP address of a broadcaster, then target that IP as part of a DDoS attack. This of course results in a ruined day of the streamer, and a total... Read more...
Have you ever tried to convince someone to download and install Skype? It's not always easy -- everyone has their preferred messaging and communication platform and they don't want to clutter up their PC with multiple protocols. If Skype is the one you roll with, the good news is you can now invite others to join a Skype chat simply by sharing a unique link, no installation required. "Anyone can join the chat as a guest from their computer using Skype for Web and enjoy one to one or group instant messaging, voice and video calls. No Skype account or app download required," Microsoft explains in a blog post. "Now you can use Skype to chat with anyone and not just the people in your Skype contact... Read more...
After spending just over nine months in beta, Microsoft is today pushing out its Skype Translator feature to users worldwide. Given the scale of a service like Skype, though, it's going to take a couple of weeks before all users will be able to take advantage of it. We'd assume that those who participated in the preview will have immediate access. Skype Translator is Microsoft's effort to bring people together all over the world, regardless of their language. As it stands today, over 50 written languages are supported as well as 6 spoken languages (English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, and Spanish). That's a great start, and one that Microsoft says was possible entirely due to the great... Read more...
Skype appears to be stumbling a bit this morning, to the chagrin of its users. The Microsoft Skype team posted a note on its blog today alerting users that it is aware of the problem and promising to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. More than one problem is bugging Skype at the moment, but by far its largest issue is that, for many Skype users, all contacts are showing as offline. Not only does this mean that you can’t see who is available for a Skype call – it also means that you can’t Skype call them, even if you know they are online. Skype (understandably) can’t make calls to users that it believes aren’t connected. Users also aren’t able to change their own statuses. We are aware... Read more...
Are your Skype chats boring? Microsoft seems to think so and it’s launching a tool to spice things up. With the new Mojis, you can pop short clips from popular movies and TV shows into your chat. I have to admit that, while part of me wants to make fun of this, I have a feeling I’ll be using this. C’mon, they have Animal from the Muppets.   “Mojis are short clips from your favorite movies and TV shows that you can put directly into a Skype chat when words aren’t enough to capture for that ‘ah-hah,’ ‘haha,’ or ‘yikes’ moment,” Microsoft’s Skype Team wrote in a blog post. Finding a clip is pretty easy. Click the smiley face by the chat bar and you’ll see regular emoticons, along with tabs... Read more...
Microsoft has finally gotten the hint: Skype users on Android and iOS aren’t exactly bowled over by the Windows Phone-centric user interface on the current app. While unifying the design and UI across all three platforms was perhaps an easy move for Microsoft development wise, it went against UI design conventions already established for Android and iOS devices. Microsoft has seen the error in its ways and is coming back with two brand new Skype apps, each tailored specifically for Android and iOS users. “We’ve redesigned Skype to be much more natural and intuitive, and have added a bunch of new capabilities to make it even more delightful to use,” said the Skype Team in a blog post. “Whether... Read more...
If you’re a heavy Skype user (like me), Microsoft has opened up a new way to use the service — that is if you live in the United States or the United Kingdom. The new Skype for Web (which is currently in beta) allows you to leave the desktop client behind and Skype with your closest contacts straight from your favorite web browser. Getting started with Skype for Web is a rather simple affair; all you have to do is point your browser to web.skype.com and login with your Skype credentials. Before you begin, you may be asked to install a plugin to allow audio and video calls (or at least I was asked); from there, you’re treated to the familiar Skype interface that you receive with the desktop client.... Read more...
It's beginning to look like the latest hotness in the vulnerability world is crashing applications with simple strings of text. We just talked about such a bug that's stricken iOS a mere week ago, and already another one has come to the surface. This time, Skype is in the crosshairs, and this is a bug even easier to replicate than the iOS one. All you have to do is type in the characters "https://:" and send it, and that somehow causes Skype to become inoperable for a time. The bug does not seem to affect the "modern" version of Skype in Windows 8, nor the Mac version, and I'd also assume the Linux version (I am too scared to test!). It has been verified to work with the Windows, Android,... Read more...
Microsoft deserves a lot of kudos for what it's doing with Skype. Specifically, Skype Translator, a nifty project that was first showed off a year ago this month. Since then, Microsoft's been enhancing Skype's real-time language translation in a number of ways, including adding more languages. The best news to date, however, is that Microsoft has removed the sign-up requirement to begin testing it out at home. The Skype Translator preview application is available to download from the Windows Store for Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 PCs and tablets. There's no waiting period to use it -- once you have it downloaded and installed, you can hop on and start taking advantage of Skype's language translation,... Read more...
One of the many neat things about the Internet is that it connects people from all over the world. However, by itself the web doesn't overcome language barriers, so even though you can exchange messages with someone from a foreign country, will you be able to understand each other? That's where Skype Translator comes into play, and it just learned some new languages. Skype Translator rolled out last December as a preview program with the ability to translate English into Spanish and Spanish into English. So if you're in Tennessee and you fire up a video chat with someone from Mexico and enable Skype Translator, your English will be translated into Spanish, both verbally and visually, and vice... Read more...
If you’re heavily invested in Microsoft’s cloud services ecosystem, you’ll be glad to hear that the company’s popular Work & Play Bundle has returned once again to the Microsoft Store. As before, the Work & Play Bundle includes a year’s subscription to Office 365 Home, Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Music Pass, and Skype Unlimited World + WiFi. Individual pricing for each service (for a year’s subscription) is listed as follows: Xbox Live Gold: $59.99Office 365 Home: $99.99Xbox Music Pass: $99.90Skype Unlimited World + WiFi: $153.89 (first month is free) At the current price of $149, Microsoft is giving customers a discount of $264.77 versus buying each service individually. That’s a mighty fine... Read more...
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