A few months ago, in a post titled "Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, Just Add Skype and We’re Set", I wrote about my experience with the N800 and how I found it quite suitable for "casual computing" where I do not need the full functionality of a PC but need something for casual web browsing, reviewing weblogs and even some communication.
Ken Camp has gone to the "geek extreme" and loaded a wide range of programs onto his N800 (including a weblog editor); the installation process for any of these is not what I would call "Install Shield"-friendly. Ken has successfully taken it along with a Nokia N95 on his frequent camping trips to keep connected.
I would love to have the time and resources to take an extended road trip and document the whole thing with my N95, N800 and Nikon D50. Since work keeps me plenty busy, that will simply be the trips that come. We’re headed back to Cannon Beach for another round in four weeks. That will include serious time at the tidepools and some horseback riding on the beach. Then in late September we’re off on an eight day cruise to Alaska. I won’t take a laptop along for that trip either.
Casual computing isn’t just about work. It’s more than doing your email when you’re on a day off. Casual computing is about the hyper-connected lifestyle, maintaining relationships, and sharing life events.
Yesterday Kevin Tofel at jkOnTheRun reported sighting a N800 running Skype in the Nokia booth at the Digiital Experience show in NYC. Seems like it will be available for download later in July.
The big news there wasn’t a new device, it was a service, and that service is Skype! It’s been a long time coming, but Skype support for the Nokia N800 is right around the corner. I got a chance to see it, but it won’t be available as a download until some time in July. The Nokia N800 already supports Gizmo for VoIP, but the addition of Skype adds more choice to make a good mobile device an even better one.
Kevin also noted the absence of video on Skype for the N800. Given the lackluster quality of the N800’s video when using its GTalk, its video quality may simply not meet Skype standards for video performance.
Ken has also determined that Skype is not relevant to him — and rightfully so. He is looking for enterprise solutions but Skype is not targeting larger enterprises. Initially Skype was targeted to the consumer market. As a result of finding that 30% of their users were using Skype for their business activities (as confirmed by many whom I have encountered using Skype in their business), Skype is currently developing services and programs for the small business market. However, it now appears that Ken’s admiration for the N800 is causing him to rethink this decision. Just can’t miss the excitement!
I would argue his statement "Skype on a PC doesn’t add value for me today". In my case Skype has become my primary real time conversation tool, whether voice, IM, file transfer, video. All my day-to-day frequent contacts are on Skype … as well as over 100 others. And, when I go to Ken’s weblog on Firefox or Internet Explorer, I find his mobile and Grand Central numbers are Skype-activated. Click-to-Call via Skype. I don’t dial phone numbers. No callbacks, no "minute stealing" involved. Two clicks — one to trigger the call, followed by a courtesy one to confirm that you may be charged for using SkypeOut. And now I access my Skype contacts from my Blackberry. I had an excellent quality Blackberry-to-Blackberry call using IM+ for Skype Software this morning. I’m looking forward to the return of Ken’s SkypeMe button.
Welcome back to the world of Skype, Ken. To paraphrase a certain sporting equipment company: "Just use it!".
And I’m looking forward to reviewing Skype on the N800 when it becomes available next month. (Hat tip to Andy for pointing to Kevin’s post.)
Tags: Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, Nokia N800, N800, Skype, Ken Camp, Kevin Tofel, Digital Experience, casual computing, IM+ for Skype Software, Blackberry
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