Skype Bots Now Reach Mac And Web - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software
Commentary
4/20/2016
12:06 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
50%
50%

Skype Bots Now Reach Mac And Web

Skype users on Apple's Mac machines and the Web can now interact with bots from Microsoft.

9 Skype Alternatives Worth Considering
9 Skype Alternatives Worth Considering
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Microsoft's Skype team says Mac and Web users can now check out a preview of Skype Bots. Bots are already available to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. Adding support for OS X and the Web means most Skype users can take advantage of bots for various purposes.

Bots are the new rage. Skype and Facebook Messenger added bots to their apps mere days apart. Bots in Skype rely a bit on Microsoft's Cortana personal assistant. Cortana allows Skype users to manage their contacts and calendar within the app itself, and now also to interact with bots. Microsoft believes artificial intelligence, Cortana, and Skype are the future of communication.

(Image: Skype)

(Image: Skype)

What can the bots do? Bots make it possible to do things such as order a pizza or book a hotel, to check news headlines or enjoy Bing images. Microsoft says more bots are on the way. Skype released tools for developers so companies can create their own bots. Right now, the bots are available only on the text messaging portion of Skype. Bots will soon be available within audio and video calls, as well.

Mac Skype users need to manually add bots to the app. Microsoft says tapping on the "contacts" menu will reveal an option to "add bot." Selecting this will show a list of all the available bots. Simply pick the bots you're interested in interacting with, and they'll be added to your contact list.

Adding bots to the Skype web client requires similar steps. The "discover bots" option should appear in the left toolbar when accessing Skype through a browser.

Learn to integrate the cloud into legacy systems and new initiatives. Attend the Cloud Connect Track at Interop Las Vegas, May 2-6. Register now!

Microsoft said it has added a handful of new bots to Skype over the past few weeks. The first, called Murphy, can be used to find and create images "for when questions can't be answered by words alone." The second, called Summarize, was design to provide an overview of any given Web page when there isn't enough time to read everything in the screen. Murphy and Summarize join other bots, such as Bing Music, Bing News, Bing Images, Getty Images, and others. They are available to all the platforms that support Skype bots.

For now, access to bots is limited to Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US.

Facebook's approach to bots is similar. The company introduced bots in Messenger, but calls them Facebook Agents. KLM Airlines was one of the first companies to adopt Facebook Agents, which it uses to allow customers check-in and manage their flight details via Messenger. Facebook rolled out tools for developers, too, and it expects companies to jump on the opportunity to interact with consumers via Messenger.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
4/21/2016 | 6:16:17 AM
Great News
Wow. This is great news. It's great that this can be used in Android as well.
Commentary
Study Proposes 5 Primary Traits of Innovation Leaders
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/8/2019
Slideshows
Top-Paying U.S. Cities for Data Scientists and Data Analysts
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/5/2019
Slideshows
10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/1/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Slideshows
Flash Poll