Skype Journal Test

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Skype 4.0 for Windows Beta 2 Available Wednesday

Wednesday, October 1, the second beta release of Skype 4.0 for Windows will become available for worldwide testing. Via a mix of the Skype 4.0 for Windows Beta 1 feedback channels involving legacy users and new users, bug reporting and usability issue forums and direct surveys that resulted in over 45,000 participants' responses and feedback, Skype learned:

  • 70% were in favor of the new "large desktop" user interface; about 30% wanted to return to the traditional compact user interface.
  • users were looking for improved means of organizing contacts by groups
  • relative to pre-Skype 4.0 beta 1 surveys, increased awareness of the multi-modal features of Skype such as IM, file transfer and SMS.
  • there existed problems with how IM presented itself to the new user
  • users were missing Instant messages and other events due to a lack of appropriate notification procedures
  • increased conversions rate to paid Skype subscriptions
As a result Skype 4.0 beta 2 includes:
  • user choice of a default "large desktop" view or a compact view
  • organization of contacts by categories with several default categories (the term "Groups" now refers to a multitude of users within a conversation such as in a Group Chat, Public chat or on a multi-party call)
  • new drop down menu to select "Categories" from the "Contacts" tab
  • new algorithms for message and missed call notification, with the initial notification coming via a tag on the Skype System Tray icon so as not to make the notification activity overwhelming
  • a new way to display a selected Contact's information when in a call or chat session
  • several options for resizing the user information, the video images, the chat area of a conversation, etc.
  • entry of PSTN phone numbers into a Contact's information on your local PC for those Contacts who have not included these phone numbers in their Skype user profile: mobile, home, office, other.
Skype for Windows Product Manager Mike Bartlett has prepared a video to demonstrate some of the new features:

And you can download Skype 4.0 for Windows Beta 2 here.

Skype 4.0 for Windows Beta 2 has the same caveat as we issued for Skype 4.0 Beta 1: this is beta software, there will be bugs and may even be usability issues. This is your opportunity to provide feedback. It is still missing some features of Skype 3.8, the last officially released version of Skype, such as Call History and creation of Public Chats. Do not use it as your primary Skype interface, especially if you depend on Skype for business or professional communications. I am still running Skype 3.8 on my laptop; I run Skype 4.0 Beta on my desktop PC.

Phil will be posting tomorrow with more details on his experience.

Check out Alec Saunders comments. And Mike Bartlett appeared as the featured guest on the October 1, 2008 SquawkBox. Click on the link to access the recording.

We asked about any upcoming Skype for Mac; the response was along the lines of (i) the Mac group is also examining the feedback from the Skype 4.0 for Windows Beta 1 for ideas to incorporate and (ii) when a new version does come along it may have some features that are not available on Skype 4.0 for Windows.

Hint: to activate the Contact Categories feature, go to Contacts | Contact Categories | See All Contact Categories.

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At September 30, 2008 at 11:40 PM , Anonymous gamumba said...

Very good news.

At October 3, 2008 at 12:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like the beta. one little problem when i choose no history option I MEAN THAT I DONT want any history but still there it is


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