Two weeks ago in the post, Whither Skype Extras Today? Withered?, I asked for a clarification about the status of Skype Extras.
Today Skype announced a HotFix that effectively removes access to Skype Extras although it shows up, greyed out, in the Tools Menu. Go to Help | Check for Upgrades. In Windows Task Manager you’ll find that SkypePM.exe is no longer seen in the Processes tab.
As PamConsult’s Dick Schiferli points out in the comments below the Skype Extras do remain available in the Skype Store and are also available from the various publishers’ websites. However, the good news is that several publishers of Skype Extras have not withered away but rather have upgraded their products to remove their dependence on the Skype Extras program while introducing new features.
The Skype Extras Survivors
PamFax – winner of the 2007 Skype mashup competition, continues to grow; their recent infrastructure upgrade means that faxes are delivered within a minute of clicking on the Send Fax button. No ongoing obligations yet there are subscription programs that include a fax number in 27 countries. Send and received faxes to/from PC’s, iPhone/iPad/iPodTouch and Android. Fax Dropbox documents; receive faxes in DropBox. Click here for a complete update on PamFax,
InnerPass is releasing a new team collaboration product, Group Mix, that aggregates all their document management, persistent “rooms” and desktop sharing expertise into a web-based product with a great user interface that is easily accessed in any browser from, say, a bookmark. The first release includes voice connections in several countries via the PSTN; they will bring Skype back in shortly. More details will be forthcoming in a post early next week.
Pamela continues to upgrade and add more features to the longest running Skype Extra. Call recording, conversation archiving and many other nifty features that enhance the Skype user experience.
Netralia continues to offer its Skylook Outlook plugin that has done very well in the customer relationship management space. More recently they launched and have upgraded VodBurner, capable not only of recording Skype Video calls but also performing editing of the recording and direct upload to YouTube.
Evoca has been building their online audio recording and hosting business where you can call in from any phone, Skype or PC mic, record interviews and conference calls. From their website:
Dial any of our U.S. and international phone numbers or use the Evoca Skype Call Recorder — available for registered subscribers. Our 100% web service securely saves and stores your audio file in digital MP3 format in your online Evoca account. You can keep it private, share it with colleagues, or publish it online for the world to listen.
OnState continues to provide and grow its web-based, pay-as-you-go call center/PBX offering. In fact, in addition to its Skype integration, it now supports Google Talk and Salesforce.com amongst other features.
There may be others; I’ll be glad to add them. But these are the publishers who have managed to build on their user feedback and market acceptance. They have continued development to enhance their products which incorporate Skype integration but can operate independently of the Skype Extras infrastructure.
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