I have a confession to make. Late last year I was asked to trial the new Skype phone as part of a blogger outreach programme and I agreed, partly because I love the whole concept of Skype and partly because I thought it would be interesting.
Well, I have to admit that I have hardly used the phone. Not because it's a rubbish phone. It's very good. Easy to use, nice looking, quite intuitive and all that. No, the reason I haven't used it much is simply because not enough of my friends and family are Skyped-up. So it was difficult to take advantage of it's key feature - the big fat Skype key in the middle of the phone which allows you to make Skype-to-Skype calls for free. The numbers of users of Skype services seems to be growing apace, but I'm afraid I just don't know enough of them. Sorry guys. You can have your phones back if you want. I'd feel a bit of a fraud doing a full review because I just don't think I've used it enough to justify it. But if your interested in reading some, there are plenty out there.
The blogger outreach programme itself seems to have been a bit patchy, but was generally handled OK from my experience of it. They got the tone about right, and there were quite a few ideas as to how you could get more involved (though I didn't actually take them up on any of them). And they seem to have been pretty balanced in their representation of reviews. Outreach programmes like this seem to be on the increase but I think it's a real skill to get it right and get people sufficiently engaged. I think we've still got a way to go on that score.