Skype 2.8 for Mac: Your Online Demo Is Calling

Here at ReadWriteWeb, we’re not usually in the “report it before you’ve tried it” camp, but a couple of trusted sources – Dan York and Rafe Needleman – are reporting that the latest version of Skype for Mac – Skype 2.8 – will include the ability to share your screen during a Skype call. And that’s a feature that is sure to change the way many of us engage in Web-based demos.

Given that we’re big Skype users around here and we see more than our fair share of Web-based demos, we’re excited to see Skype finally offering the the ability to combine the two. No more setting up WebEx or LiveMeeting. Just share your screen via Skype during your next briefing call.

In addition to screen sharing, Skype 2.8 promises to offer a number of other features including improved chat and per-minute calling access via wifi hotspots like Boingo.

Granted, screen sharing has been available through Skype add-ons, but having the features core to the client – and easily accessible – will only help increase the use of Skype for these kinds of online conversations.

Perhaps more importantly for Skype, it’s something which is sure to attract new users. At five years old, Skype is among the old guard of this generation of Web apps. This long-awaited screen sharing feature could help revitalize the product, encouraging a whole new crop of business users to add Skype to their cadre of online tools.

And when you couple these new features with Skype’s latest hire, it leads one to wonder if 2009 could be a comeback year for the company.

The latest version isn’t available for download yet, but it is slated to be released on Tuesday, January 6.

[Update] The download is now available.

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