Monday, June 18, 2012

Skype 4 finally released on Linux; thoroughly disappoints

You could say Linux users had high expectations. After going for more than 3 years without an update to Skype on Linux, Microsoft titillated users a few weeks ago by saying they were excited about a big new update for the program.

Disappointed is a nice way to describe how most users probably felt.

In the end, about all you can say about the new version is that 'it's pretty'.  Visually, it's a bit more appealing than previous versions of Skype and it's nice to have Microsoft actually supporting Linux, unlike Skype's previous owners who let it languish around un-updated for 3 years, but that's about it. There's nothing useful in the update at all.  Not even for its most requested feature on Linux: support for group video chat. That's something the Windows version has had forever. It's not even that hard to do and yet Microsoft chose not to include it in this update.

I hope this was a goodwill gesture from the company to tell us "we're supporting Linux! Expect more' but something tells me we might be looking at a looooong road when it comes to Skype on Linux. We will forever be the bastard stepchildren of the Internet.

In the meantime, I'm happily using Jitsi!

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