New Skype beta allows 100-user 'Skypecasts'
Skype has released
a beta of its upcoming Skype 2.5 voice over IP software. The release previews a number of new features and additions, such as the
ability to send SMS messages, a built-in localized payment feature,
integration with Microsoft Outlook, and improved conference calling.
Perhaps the most interesting feature, however, is an early preview of
what Skype calls Skypecasts. This feature allows up to 100 users to
participate in "live, moderated conversations" completely free of
charge, with a host able to "pass the virtual microphone" to users
as well as mute and kick out disruptive participants. Skype poises
Skypecasting as a community building tool, and the company has even put
up a special skypecasts.skype.com
site that allows users to search, create, and share Skypecasts as well
as browse through a number of featured selections.
Interestingly, unlike Skype's 10-user
conference call feature, the ability to host Skypecasts doesn't seem
to be restricted to users with Intel Pentium D or Core Duo processors.
Perhaps the new feature isn't as demanding, or perhaps the fact that
Skype was recently subpoenaed in the
AMD vs. Intel antitrust trial had something to do with it. Nonetheless,
users wishing to try out Skypecasting can download the Skype 2.5 beta here.
Thanks to Ars
Technica for the link.