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VuRoom plug-in brings multipoint video conferencing to Skype

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 20 Jan 2010 18:59 User comments (3)

VuRoom plug-in brings multipoint video conferencing to Skype A new plug-in for Skype being marketed by Startup Vivu brings multipoint videoconferencing to the Skype software; adding functionality that has been absent so far from the service. Failing to deliver multipoint videoconferencing has been viewed as one of Skype's biggest shortcomings, and Vivu is hoping to capitalize on the vacuum. "The flaw in Skype's video strategy right now is that it's point-to-point only," said Irwin Lazar, an industry analyst with Chicago-based Nemertes Research.
The VuRoom plugin allows several people to take part in a video call using Skype, which the number of participants limited by available bandwidth. Vivu CEO Sudha Valluru said that the service will allow for up to 8 participants for broadband users before a degradation in quality would become a problem. The participants' feeds will be shown in a browser window that will pop up when the call begins.

The plug-in will cost a user US$9.95 per month for unlimited use. Not all participants in a videoconference need to buy the plug-in; only the user who initiates the call. For other participants, the requirements are just Skype, a webcam and a browser. The plugin also allows participants to show PowerPoint presentations on screen, or to stream their computers' desktop.

Given that the vast majority of Skype users don't pay for any service from Skype, the VuRoom plug-in will have a tough time finding customers who are willing to pay the monthly fee. There is also another big risk; Skype may add multipoint videoconferencing at any time to the software, Vivu's product obsolete. Indeed, many analysts do expect Skype to add the functionality eventually.

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3 user comments

121.1.2010 15:42

Cool, but not worth paying for.

222.1.2010 2:29

I think this is a great idea like we can add multiple people to instant messaging. This would b similar to that on a video audio level.
I just do not like the cost involved. It should be a free upgrade in my book.

322.1.2010 22:12

The problem with it not being "free" is that its being done by a company separate from Skype that has to make money on its own.

If you do a lot of videoconferencing, I don't see $9.95 per month as a major issue. Still, it would be nice if Skype licensed the technology. It could make the money back on increased usage by businesses wanting to do serious videoconferencing.

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