November 18, 2013, 1:33 PM — For anyone who has participated on a well-attended conference call, it's a familiar problem: the tap-Tap-TAP of some anonymous participant, typing notes. Fortunately, a future version of Skype may silence the offending fingers.
The Next Web reports that Microsoft held a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, this week, where Microsoft executives suggested that they might adapt a similar typing-quashing technology from the company's Lync software.
The technology apparently "listens" for the sound of typing, then filters it out automatically, at least within Lync. As The Next Web notes, Google has implemented a similar, but heavy-handed solution: its Hangouts automatically detect the typing sound, mute the offender, then quietly send a private note to him or her asking them to mute their microphone.
We asked Microsoft to clarify further; the company received our reply, but hasn't provided an update at press time. (That's possibly because Scandinavia is well into the weekend at this point.)
Skype as the center of attention
Skype has suddenly been thrust into the spotlight; since acquiring the service for $8.5 billion in 2011, Microsoft has made Skype the centerpiece of its communications strategy.
Skype has been built into Windows 8, the Xbox One, Office, Windows Phone, and other Microsoft products, including Outlook.com. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer's strategy is to bring Yammer, Skype, and Lync together into some hybrid communications and collaboration solution.
In 2012, Skype users totaled more than 663 million users worldwide. But with Skype's new role as both a consumer and business communications medium--across multiple platforms--those numbers should increase. Long-time users, however, have been upset by the pace of change, as the backlash against changes in Skype's desktop API demonstrated.
Eliminating the pesky typing sounds may not be a game-changer, but it's a nice feature that will benefit consumers and business people alike. Now if they could only filter out sounds like meowing, water running, and (worse still) toilets flushing.