Scott Hanselman

2006 is the year of Video Chat

January 07, 2006 Comment on this post [9] Posted in Diabetes
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This may be the year of Video Chat. Someone is bound to get it right this year.

Skype totally nailed voice chat last year. Nailed it shut. Seven versions of MSN Messenger tried to get voice chat right and Skype totally nailed it. Now they've released Skype 2.0  and it includes Video. If they nail this, it'll be a happy day for me. I'm all about chat with about 280 folks on Messenger and I'd love to be able to chat with video. Their interface is really very nice and polished. It's no iChat, but it's nice for Windows.


Now Messenger 8 Beta is out and using invites (ala Gmail) to spread the word. I invited 5 folks. The screen shot at right is me chatting with my buddy John. The audio was iffy, but the video was pretty sweet. There's the Messenger Team's blog that points out a nice new feature of this version: type ahead contact searching.


As a tangent, I run Large Icons on my systems. Note the pixelly icon for Messenger. I'm REALLY looking forward to scalable icons in Vista. The icons (most) in the current Vista Betas are scalable vectors. I hope this ushers in a renaissance for UI and not the Garish mid-90s when Flash (remember FutureSplash?) was first introduced. Flash really put bad designers into motion. You think a static image sucks? Make it fly across the page and you'll discover what it really means to suck. But, I digress.

Video Chat will happen (and really work this time) in 2006. Google Talk will likely add it. AOLs Instant Messenger "Triton" includes video chat. ICQ5 has video. Gaim-vv will soon do video with MSN and Yahoo.

The real question is this: It's 2005 and why aren't our chat services interoperable? Why is there a market for Trillian? Because folks don't want to get together and standardize. Sure, there's Jabber (XMPP) and there's SILC, but I don't see it sweeping the Windows world. Maybe I'm mistaken.

Can't we all just get along? 

Now playing: Freshlyground - Buttercup 

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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January 07, 2006 16:08
It's 2006, I've had to correctly myself too.
January 07, 2006 22:52
January 08, 2006 11:45
This is a side topic, but you guys gotta get a bluetooth headset. I use it with my Skype, and I'm lovin' it!
January 09, 2006 8:19
I have been using Trillian for a while now and I prefer it over MSN Messenger. I don't even have contacts in AIM or Yahoo anymore, so it's a sole replacement for MSN Messenger for me.

The main reasons are that it's liteweight, unobtrusive and handles most basic features well.

I still have to use MSN Messenger for tasks like whiteboarding or application sharing, but Trillian is nice for plain chat.

When will Trillian come out with Video/Voice?
January 09, 2006 17:39
You guys mentioned Trillian (a product I use daily) so I thought I'd pass on a quick link to - basically web-based Trillian. It's still in it's infancy and doesn't quite give me everything I need but I'm hoping that it will get there in 2006. Just thought I'd throw that down for you.

I do hope that video/voice chat develops more this year. While I understand some folks need to do their work in their PJs, there's just no beating have a "face to face" with someone. IM just doesn't do inflection well. :)
January 09, 2006 21:00
I like Trillian, but it's a freakin memory hog. Not a problem at home, but at work, Gaim has a smaller footprint.
January 09, 2006 23:54
Be nice if Trillian support ink too..
January 10, 2006 3:17
You're totally right. And don't you find it amazing that in this day and age, when we're trying so hard to bring the chat networks together (google meets aol, windows live meets yahoo) the cell phone networks are trying to drive apart? Shouldn't such similarly-motivated technologies be following similar paths instead of oppisite ones? I find it so interesting. (ps. thanks for reading our blog and spreading the word!)
February 16, 2006 21:49
I agree with you completely. There are more people with high speed internet and computers than ever before. We have been working on Video Chat applications for 10 years now and have found so many great uses. iSpQ Video Chat works on both mac and windows machines and connects people in 182 countries.

I do think that society as a whole will have to get used to having a camera on their computer and that it will take a long time before we see mass adoption of video conferencing apps. Until then, we will all work hard to be innovative and experiment.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.