//  The latest web technologies that make cross-platform video chat possible are: Google Video Chat, Wetoku.com (no software download & install needed) Oovoo.com, iVisit.com, and more at my post about group video chat“. //
With all the internet and computer gadgets around, and now with the MacBook (and MacBook Pro) laptops with built-in mic and iSight video camera, you’d think it’d be easier to video chats online, and particularly between Mac and Windows PC too. Can laptop PCs with built-in webcams be far behind? (I remember in the 80s when phone companies would pilot test those video phones with 2″ screens, and it never did take off.)
One blogger described it as: “Getting video chatting work from my Mac to a PC running Windows XP was a complete nightmare…” and there is a Video Conference Tutorial for iChat and AIM, but that just goes to show how complicated it gets.
Now with proprietary MacBooks and iChat AV, you can easily make instant video chats with someone else you know that has a Mac over iChat, or someone who has a PC with a particular webcam and particular version of AIM, etc — plain too complicated; a website doesn’t care if you use Mac or PC, Firefox, MSIE, or Safari, so a video chat with webcams shouldn’t care either.
Cross-platform is the new name of the game! I want something that’s easy-to-install and popular enough that I don’t have to explain what it is. Skype has that brand-recognition and ease-of-use: over 100 million users or so.
Skype could easily step into this gap
, and it’s kinda halfway there already, with Skype Video calls for PCs, but not for Macs yet. When the latter is ready and launched, my simmering question will be moot. Granted, there’s SightSpeed and iVisit for those wanting to do video chats between Mac and PC, but..
(A few years ago, Microsoft used to bundle NetMeeting into their Windows XP OS, and that was a pretty handy video conference + whiteboard + chat room + shared desktop tool for virtual meetings. I used it on several occasions with newbies, and it worked very well for meetings and training over the web, but I don’t know why it got neglected and phased out.)
[Note: the official Skype blog says >> Skype for Mac with video coming up -- but don't use the buggy version]
[update : Skype 2.0 for Mac with video is released! Now PC and Mac users can video chat with each other over Skype! Download Skype for Mac OS X or Skype for Windows.]