Microsoft first unveiled Skype Bots a couple of weeks ago during its Build Developer conference. The multi-platform service was today released in preview along two new lines — Mac and Web.
Skype Bots, the Redmond giants says, was developed to bring expertise, products, services and entertainment into daily messaging on Skype. But since its launch, it has become more than that. The service is now available over not just Skype but also other communications platforms including Slack, Outlook, LINE and others.
The service was available over most mobile platforms like iOS, Android as well as in the latest version of Skype for Windows Desktop. Today’s announcement brings Skype Bots to the remaining users.
The company says that Mac users can tap on the “Contacts” from the menu and select “Add Bot….” to search for or view a list of available Bots while Web users can select “Discover Bots” on the left toolbar to see a list of available Bots.
In addition to the new platform support update, we also get a couple of new and useful Bots.
- Murphy, a Bot to find and create images for when questions can’t be answered by words alone.
- Summarize, a Bot designed to give an overview of a web page if you don’t have time to read the whole thing.
Of course, it’s not going to be easy to forget the company’s first attempt at letting loose an artificial intelligence for users to interact (Tay, geddit?), but the new Skype Bots seemed to be more tamed. And to be completely honest, they aren’t just gimmicks, they are quite useful in many areas.
Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella had said during the announcement of the Bots,
Bots are like new applications. And digital assistants are meta apps, or like the new browsers. And intelligence is infused into all of your interactions. That’s the rich platform that we have.
The service is currently available in preview in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US. Other regions may get roll outs in the following months.