Skype 4.0 Beta 1 for Windows
Hello! I’m Mike Bartlett, Director of Windows Product Management here at Skype.
Four and a bit years ago we changed the way people talked. Free calling is something that brings smiles to people all over the world, every day. We’re very proud of that.
Today, we’re announcing the most exciting change to Skype since inception – Skype 4.0 Beta 1 for Windows.
Over the years, we’ve added a lot of richness and functionality to Skype. It’s no longer just a little piece of software for making free calls. Our video calling experience, now enjoyed on over a quarter of all Skype to Skype calls, is starting to take centre stage alongside other great features such as instant messaging, group conversations, SMS & voicemail.
This video is recorded in HD – we recommend viewing it full screen (for those of you reading this in an RSS reader, you can watch the briefing video here – you can also grab the embed code if you want to use this video in your own blog)
A while ago we realised we had outgrown our home. There was so much to pack in, and Skype got a bit crowded. We learnt that people new to Skype had so much choice, they didn’t always know where to start or how to find things. So we decided to move into a bigger, better home. Skype 4.0 Beta 1 for Windows.
We’re sharing this beta with you a little earlier than normal because we know it’s a big change, and sometimes change can take some getting used to. We’re going to spend the whole summer listening to your feedback and making changes so that when we do launch the final version, we’ll make sure it’s perfect. Because we’re releasing it early, a few little things aren’t available in today’s beta: full history and contact groups are two examples.
This video is recorded in HD – we recommend viewing it full screen (for those of you reading this in an RSS reader, you can watch the introductory demo video here – you can also grab the embed code if you want to use this video in your own blog)
So what’s new then? We’ve given video calling the screen size it finally deserves, plus we’ve made it really simple to use. A single click on the Video call button and you’ll be seeing and talking. Video doesn’t start off really small anymore – it’s big and beautiful to begin with. You can also resize and move your own video window around the screen quite easily. Plus in one click, you can have an IM conversation alongside the video call.
Helping people juggle lots of conversations all at once is another reason behind the big changes in 4.0 Beta. We found people had to keep track of multiple windows in order to have a few conversations. In fact, if you had a High Quality Video call alongside an IM, plus you were sending a couple of pictures that was five windows! It’s now all in one window. Take a look at the Conversations button just above the Contact list. It’s a list of all the conversations you’ve got going on. Just click between them to pick up a conversation right where you left off. You can also pop your conversations out into separate windows if you prefer having different windows for different conversations.
This video is recorded in HD – we recommend viewing it full screen (for those of you reading this in an RSS reader, you can watch the advanced demo video here – you can also grab the embed code if you want to use this video in your own blog)
Finally, we’ve made working with Skype Certified hardware dead simple. We heard some of our users were having problems when plugging and unplugging new devices and sometimes people couldn’t hear them talking. In Skype 4.0 Beta for Windows, the first time you plug in your new device, Skype will automatically detect it and start using it. We’ll remember your devices so that next time, even if you switch headset mid-call, we’ll get it right.
Yes, it has taken something like 2 years from first conceptual ideas being bounced around. I’ve been involved in Skype’s Desktop clients team since March and I have to tell you … I’m truly proud of what the hundreds of people involved have pulled off