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Top five reasons 2015 has been an awesome year for Skype

Having recently joined Skype in Media as a columnist, I thought I’d sum up the wonderful year so far with Skype and Microsoft. Here are my top five reasons why Skype has had an awesome 2015:

5 The launch of Skype for Business

“It’s all about the integration”. That was the key message from Microsoft when they first announced Skype for Business as their replacement for Lync — with super-cool Office app functionality built in. And indeed, it was a very clever move on Microsoft’s part since Skype for Business built on all that was best in terms of capability from Lync — but also made content sharing and conference calling a one-click breeze, catapulting it into the stratosphere of ‘awesome’ within a week of its test launch.

4 Skype for Web

June saw the worldwide launch of Skype for Web, the main advantage of the service being that you could access it from anywhere without needing the desktop version of Skype to be installed. For me, the move marked a further untethering from desktop apps — providing users with increased freedom as its key offering. Instant Messaging is available on Skype for Web, whilst video and voice calls currently require a plugin that I predict will be phased out sometime in 2016.

3 Skype Translator

More barriers were removed by Skype in October this year with the launch of its incredibly powerful Translator functionality. The media embraced the possibilities afforded by the technology and I particularly loved reading about the non-profit worker who used Skype Translator to unite donors with those in need around the world — along with the gap-leave world traveller who found her way across continents by translating key phrases using Skype.

2 Skype Mojis

Okay, so the introduction of Skype Mojis may not be quite as ground breaking as the other launches this year, but they’re a reflection of our media hungry society that I find quite endearing. Far from being a fad, I have to admit to finding the integration of those little snippets of movie clips into my messages to family and friends strangely addictive. Let’s face it, sometimes Miss Piggy just says it best whereas, at other times, John Cleese speaking through a sheep’s head adds just the right amount of zaniness to ensure your message is memorable. Skype kicked off the launch of Mojis with favourites such as Despicable Me, Bridesmaids, Jurassic Park and The Muppets, but has since added considerably more to its library. What’s not to Love?.

1 Skype Meeting Broadcast

A fantastic extension of Skype for Business, Skype Meeting Broadcast has democratized meeting production, providing amazing wide-scale broadcasting potential that is accessible to thousands. Viewing experiences are totally customizable and the audience can extend and interact with the experience through a variety of integrated apps that sit next to, or below, the video. What’s more, Skype Meeting Broadcast works with any USB camera or cameras that interoperate with Skype for Business.

Until next year…
Yes 2015 truly has been an awesome year for Skype in terms of evolving the way we choose to broadcast and communicate with others. It has broken down the barriers of language and has opened up new opportunities for businesses to flourish and have their message shared with potentially millions of people. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved in broadcasting technology and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next in 2016.

Bring it on Skype.

Hope you had a happy Christmas and here’s to a spectacular New Year.

So, this is where a mulled wine infused Dr G signs off.

About Dean Anthony Gratton

Dr Dean Anthony Gratton is a bestselling author and columnist, and has worked extensively within the wireless communications R&D industry. His wireless research work has been patented. You can contact Dean via his website, and follow him on Twitter (@grattonboy) to enjoy his risqué humor, witty shenanigans, social media and technology-related tweets. You can also read more about his work at deangratton.com.

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