The beta for Sametime 7.5 client is now available on the beta test server.Â You’ll need to register for an ID, log in to the server and then you can download the client.Â My first impressions:
- Love the UI compared to the old client.
- Love the fact that if I hit escape accidentally and close a chat window I simply click on the person from my buddy list and the historic chat returns.
- Away, offline, available status reminders within chat windows is excellent.
- Stopping me typing a message to someone who goes offline during a chat is great.
- Telling me that someone has closed the chat window helps clarify when a conversation has ended.
- Searching for contacts in buddy lists is a great productivity improvement for me.
- Chat history is finally usable!
- Location awareness with other Sametime 7.5 users is a real benefit (we need to educate people on giving better location descriptors though!).
Overall the client really catches up with public IM clients and competition.Â It isn’t a step change compared to what is on the market today however it is a step change compared to the old version of Sametime.
Where will the real interesting areas be?
In my opinion it is the extensible nature of the client which will be the key.Â The ability to mashup between presense and lcoation information with existing collaborative applications and bots will be very powerful.Â IBM internally are already using mashups in this way to show activities you share with a buddy prior to commencing a chat, so you can catch up before the chat (perhaps negate the need for the chat).Â Just one example of what I see will be the real power of this new Sametime client.
I haven’t used the meeting services on the demo site so when I do I’ll post my opninions on those.