Skype will announce today that they have updated their Pocket PC software to 2.0. This obviously points to more efforts in the Fixed Mobile Convergence sector that I l have been high on for some time
But despite the way it looks there are some glaring things it doesn't do.
1. The Skype in number is not the mobile number. This means two numbers to give out
2. If not in WiFi mode Skype In goes to Skype voicemail. That means user have two voicemails to check, not one. This makes zero sense to me.
3. It does appear to offer call forwarding from Skype in to a mobile number just as Skype does, but depending on mobile provider this may be costly to the user, as mobile minutes are not free in the USA, and you pay for Skype Out minutes too. Besides you ytill have to pay your mobile plan anyway
Skype really needs a single number solution which means cooperation with a mobile carrier and convergence network infrastructure. Though they have announced those deals with Hutchinson's 3 in some countries, it's not a seamless handover like Boingo is rolling out here in the USA without Skype via a GSM carrier.
Here are some of the highlights of Skype's new offering:
Skype for Pocket PC 2.0 (prior release was v1.1) enhances voice quality and the number of devices supported by including Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC, more languages and 240x240 screens. Other key features and benefits include:
Skype to Skype and SkypeOut calls
Presence, including: Online, offline, away, call forwarding, device not connected
Automatic synchronization of your Skype contact list between device and desktop
Making SkypeOut calls directly from the device phone book
Simplified contact search
Authorizing buddy requests and adding new contacts
Skype for Pocket PC will be available preloaded on a number of devices including Asus MyPal A636, BenQ P50, E-TEN M600, Dopod 700, i-mate PDA2, PDA2K, JASJAR and Qtek 9000 and 9090.
Skype for Pocket PC 2.0 is also supported by the new HP iPAQ hw6900 series Mobile Messenger, a smart device providing customers with the ability to receive email wirelessly(1,2) using push-email functionality, introduced yesterday at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona.
I hope to try it on my new PPC-6700 as soon as I can download and install it.
Update 1--I attempted to install the Skype client but the download file as of noon yesterday was reported as corrupted by my Windows PC laptop. I tried to download the file three times, beyond the stalled downloads, with no success. I'll attempt a direct download next.
Update 2-- Om has some comments on my post over on GigaOm.