Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Skype for Outlook public beta

Do you live in Outloook? Are you a Skype addict? If you answered "yes" to both questions, Peter Kalmstrom has the product for you! As previously discussed here, Peter brought us the Outlook Skype application last year; this year, he was commissioned by Skype to expand the functionality and bring true Outlook and Skype integration.

"I have been commissioned by Skype to build an Outlook add-on that makes the most of both these powerful platforms. I am very happy with the results. The finished result will soon be published on the Skype website for free!"

Peter was gracious enough to provide the opportunity to help in the private beta for the past month or so. I have to say, I was impressed with the application right off the bat. Aside from a few early version issues, the app runs fine for me although I have a limited number of contacts in Outlook. I'll be adding plenty more as I migrate Contacts from my work computer to my home computer.

So what does Skype for Outlook do? This won't be a full review, but enough to peak your interest...look for a full review here or on an upcoming techADDICTION show. Upon installation, it immediately matches up any Outlook Contacts you have with your Skype Contacts. The Skype name of any matched contacts will now appear in your Outlook Contact data. You can also search for a Skype contact name if the auto match didn't find anything. The other big item is a Skype toolbar within outlook. If you are in an e-mail or a contact record, the new toolbar will tell you the current online Skype status of the person. Get an e-mail from someone and you want to Skype them with a question? Easy to do right within Outlook! :)

Skype for Outlook

The download for this plug-in is a svelte 800Kb and installation is a snap. Keep in mind this is a public BETA, so the application might not be 100% just yet.

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At 5/31/2005 12:24 PM, Anonymous Peter Kalmström said...

Hi Kevin,
Thank you for your nice words and (again) for your help during the private beta.
Actually there is not any automatic matching when you install. It is a manual process and in some ways I don't think it should be too automated. I am always wary about software changing my data automatically. What you will hopefully find is that the manual process of matching Outloook Contacts and Skype Contacts is so easy it feels automatic.
Making a fully automated (although safe) matching is something we will improve in the future, I hope.
Looking forward to reading the full review. You wanted some free stuff, right?

Best Regards
Peter Kalmström, www.kalmstrom.nu,

At 6/01/2005 7:26 PM, Blogger Kevin C. Tofel said...

See? It works so good that I thought it was automatic!!! ;)



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