Skype 4.0 – it's all yours
For those of you who are regular readers of this blog, this should come as no surprise – the gold version of Skype 4.0 for Windows is now ready to download. It’s an exciting day at Skype – and not just because we’ve also just passed the 16 million online user milestone – as it marks the final stage in a process which has lasted over two years, and incorporated feedback from tens of thousands users like you.
I’m going to keep this brief, as much of the story of 4.0 has been covered in Peter’s previous posts, but even if you stop reading now, this is the bit to remember: the gold version of Skype 4.0 for Windows is now ready, so download it now and share it with your friends, family and colleagues.
At Skype, we feel that we’re really having an impact on the world when people love to use Skype – chat, make voice and video calls, have group conversations and send files – and in 4.0 we’ve focused on making these features better than ever. To meet that goal, we’ve made a number of dramatic improvements to video calling, ease-of-use and call quality:
- Improved video calling – With the changes we’ve made, video calling in Skype 4.0 for Windows is the next best thing to being there. A new built-in bandwidth manager ensures that you have the very best video calling experience possible, even on a low bandwidth connection. If you have a fast enough connection (recommended 400 Kb/s or higher) and a high quality webcam, Skype delivers up to 30-frames-per-second High Quality Video at full screen.
- Calls and instant messages are easier to manage – video and voice calls, as well as instant messaging, are all easy to reach in a single window. The new Conversations tab makes it easy to hold multiple conversations at once, and to switch quickly between video and voice calls, instant messages and SMS. This is particularly beneficial for the power users among you.
- Call quality is substantially improved thanks to a number of under-the-hood changes. Calls sound richer and clearer than ever thanks to support for Super Wideband Audio with compatible hardware. The bandwidth manager should ensure that you have crystal clear calls even when bandwidth is low.
4.0 also sports a radically overhauled user interface – a slicker, cleaner look with less clutter and easier-to-find core features. We’ve also included Compact View, which retains the structure of the Skype 3.8 interface for those of you who prefer to work that way.
We’ve also improved the History and search features, and have added abuse reporting – if you choose to block a new contact request you’ll now be given the option of reporting the blocked user to Skype. This information will be used to help us detect and block the tiny minority abusive users.
It represents a fundamental change in the way we’ve thought about the software development process, and is the most distinctive new release in Skype’s five year history. We’ve examined every aspect of the software, both inside and out, and taken on board your feedback at every stage. I’m very proud of the work our engineers and designers have put in to this version, and I hope you enjoy the results of their efforts.