Skype 4.0 Beta Overhauls Video Chat

Skype 4.0 Beta Overhauls Video Chat
Windows only: Skype has released an early beta of their 4.0 release for Windows users, and the best word for it is “bigger.” (Odds-on this is the “fundamental change” Skype hinted at earlier this week.) The client itself is now a full-screen affair, putting your contact list at left and offering all the user options in a big central box. Video calls are both literally bigger, with full-screen streams and picture-in-picture chat, and a larger part of the client’s focus. Hardware setup has also been streamlined to detect compatible hardware, or recommend it if troubleshooting fails. It’s still an early beta—my XP box just couldn’t run it without crashing—but worth checking out if you regularly use Skype video chat. Skype 4.0 beta is a free download for Windows systems only (for now).


  • @GIGADAFUD – There are several excellent alternatives to Skype. In addition to the previously mentioned SightSpeed, which is really excellent, there is ooVoo, which includes 3-way video chat in the free version and 6-way video in the subscription version, and Gizmo5, which blows the doors off everything else for text chat.

  • I’m not surprised that it crashed your XP system. The 4.0 beta has brought forward all of the Skype bugs from previous releases – video freeze/crash, audio volume erratic, presence reporting unreliable and much more. If Skype would put some effort into fixing bugs, instead of producing bloated, juvenile looking Windows-only disasters, their users would be much better off. Oh, and apparently the large-screen high resolution video that they hype in the announcement is still limited to only the three “anointed” Logitech cameras, everyone else is still left out in the cold.

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