Whilst I was on a hiatus for the last year on Twitter, my use of Skype increased dramatically.
With uQast we are also moving towards using a Skype based virtual PBX and Live Chat for a large proportion of our pre-sales communication.
Officially announced, what had previously been confirmed that Microsoft is buying Skype for $8.5B – significantly more than the valuation when Ebay sold a large chunk to investors whilst releasing its grip in preparation for a possible IPO.
So I thought I would take this opportunity to mention directions I would like to see Microsoft take the platform in the future, rather than speculate on how they will ever make a return on their investment.
Microsoft – please make Skype more open – other IM clients talk to each other – actually… do the same with Live Messenger as well.
Support XMPP / Jabber – forge open standards for other forms of communication
This page of clients that support XMPP actually asks “See Something Missing?”
Sure do… Live Messenger & Skype.
If you chat over XMPP feel free to nag people in some way to “upgrade” to a more secure or flexible client… if that is the case.
Some of the things we want to do with Skype we currently can’t because custom development costs would be to prohibitive, so many of our staff may end up using Google Talk or another XMPP supporting client, and client records may end up fragmented.
Screen Sharing – One To Many
I know that the big push has been for video chat to support more users, but adhoc screen sharing to multiple users on an audio conference is much more useful.
That being said I am not saying that is something I want to pay for – for large pre-arranged webinars you can use a dedicated service.
Conversation History & Search
Skype search is terrible – a conversation between Joe Bloggs and Andy Beard is different to a conversation between Andy Beard & Joe Bloggs, and you can only search within a single conversation history at a time.
I typically have updates in 10-20 conversations every day, across 2 Skype accounts and finding a reference someone made in one of them, even if you remember who made the reference is like finding a needle in a haystack.
There also needs to be significant improvement in the way historical conversations can be migrated between multiple desktops and mobile devices – some current conversations do get populated over time, but it is a very hit and miss affair. I want to be able to access 6 or 7 years of history which took place on multiple PCs.
Online Business Integration
This can come in a number of ways
- Click to Call
- Live Support
- CRM Integration
If small business owners have to get in the habit of having Skype always on, because that is the direction their leads come from, there is without doubt a way to monetize that with advanced features, and Skype Out will also become more prevalent.
On my windows laptop I used to deliberately run older versions of the Skype client and switch the extras off because I found the resources it used only surpassed by Firefox among applications I needed to have “always on”.
These days I am running 2 copies of Skype side-by-side using the /secondary option you can set by the command line, and my 64 bit Windows 7 desktop system can cope with that comfortably… but that doesn’t mean the client isn’t a system hog.
Always on applications such as IM clients need to be more streamlined.
I’m Sure You Have Your Own Bugbears
These are just a few things that affect me on a daily basis – what would you like improved on Skype?