Tis the season for bringing utilities and products out of beta; Yesterday I reported on PamConsult’s PamFax coming out of beta. At almost the same instant I received notification that Skype has made generally available version 1.1 of its Outlook Email Toolbar, a tool which I use frequently for launching Skype and SkypeOut calls directly from Outlook.
The new features include:
- support for Outlook 2007.(the major one)
- improved startup performance (except the first time you log into a profile)
- changes to improve overall performance as an Outlook plug-in
- for instance, selecting appointments is no longer supported
- on demand analyzing of other email recipients
To expand on the last comment: “When you create a conference, multichat etc from an email the other recipients (apart from the sender) are analyzed when needed, not in advance.”
Skype Toolbar Product Manager Peter Kalmstrom has created Skype Toolbar for MS Outlook an instructive screencast here. No longer available.
I have been a member of the beta program for this utility over the past three months and can testify that the new version has also eliminated one “nuisance bug” I was experiencing with the earlier version. Having followed the Outlook beta test group chat, I can also testify that it went through some fairly rigorous and aggressive testing to ensure that it works with both Outlook “Internet” and Outlook “MS Exchange” and across VPN connections.
Also, someone raised the question whether this utility is competitive with Skylook. Skylook is a prime example of a developer who has found a market niche and addressed it. Whereas the Skype Outlook Toolbar certainly facilitates making Skype/SkypeOut calls, Skylook provides a tool for archiving all your conversations, whether voice or chat, into an Outlook folder for ready recall from within Outlook. As a result Skylook is very useful as a Customer Relationship Management tool. Phil reports on a recent interview with Skylook Founder Jeremy Hague in Melbourne’s The Age.
Along with the Skype Browser Toolbar for Firefox, the Skype Outlook Toolbar, continues to be a major component of my “I don’t dial phone numbers any more” campaign.
Tags: Skype, Skype Outlook Toolbar, Skylook, Peter Kalmstrom, Outlook 2007, SkypeOut