Microsoft, Skype and Linux

Microsoft and Linux may have some Windows 8 PC issues, as I mentioned in a previous post, Windows 8 PC’s, Linux, and the UEFI, but that doesn’t mean that Microsoft is not working to make Linux easier to use. Recently, Microsoft shipped out a new version of Skype, just for Linux.

 

New Features

That will be good news for Linux users, who may be wondering if Microsoft is going to kill their Skype – Linux connection. No it won’t. So here are some of the features.

One improved feature is easier conversations. The new conversations window lets you manage all your recent conversations in one place; users can easily track all of their chats in a unified window. This eliminates the multiple chat windows issue from before.

There is a new Call View and improved audio quality; plus they are also working on improving video call quality and have also extended support for more cameras.

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Improvements

Now chat synchronization is better than before, plus there are new presence and emoticon icons. You also have the ability to store and view phone numbers in a Skype contact’s profile. And the chat history loading is faster. Plus, there is a lower chance Skype for Linux will crash or freeze.

While these improvements are good for the user, Microsoft, warns, however, that the very first time you start Skype for Linux 4.0 might take a few minutes to launch. This depends on how lengthy your chat history is.

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Versions

Formally, the new Skype for Linux is available for the 32 and 64-bit versions of Ubuntu 10.04 and Debian 6.0 and the 32-bit versions of Fedora 16 and OpenSUSE 12.1.

Here are the overall requirements to use this Skype version: Qt 4.6.0, D-Bus 1.0.0, libasound2 1.0.18 with both PulseAudio 1.0 and BlueZ 4.0.0 being optional. Without a source code option, though, you’re much stuck with the Debian/Ubuntu, Red Hat, and SUSE Linux families.

Linux users should be happy with this announcement, because they may have bee worried after Microsoft acquired Skype, that their Linux-Skype connection would end. Doesn’t look that way.

 

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