Hot on the tails of SIPphone, Skype today announced the introduction of conferencing support into its P2P-based VoIP telephony platform. I heard about this from an article in The Register, and went straight to download the 0.97 release to try it out.
First impressions: the UI needs some work, but you’ll soon forget about that when you start a conference call. I tried a four-way call (Skype currently supports up to five conference participants), and had hardly any complaints about audio quality. Some minor jitter, but overall a very pleasant experience – certainly good enough to give traditional POTS-based conference providers a run for their money.
All I can now wonder is how long will it last before Skype starts turning some of their offerings into value-added services? Certainly the End User License Agreement has, since the outset, indicated that “certain functions in the Skype Software are only available to paid subscribers after a free trial period of the Skype Software and Services (the “Free Trial Period”) ends.”
I’m very intrigued to see what will be Skype’s next steps…