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Skype brings back compact interface for Mac OS X users

Linux users simply get fewer crashes
Fri Jun 15 2012, 16:43
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INTERNET TELEPHONY SERVICE Skype has updated its Mac OS X and Linux clients just a day after it revealed plans to stick large video adverts on screen during calls.

Skype released Skype 5.8 for Mac OS X with a revised user interface. According to Krishna Panicker, product manager of Skype for Mac, the firm took notice of user complaints about its full screen user interface and has gone back to a 'slimmer' contact list.

Panicker said, "You've been very vocal with your thoughts about the revamped full-screen user interface we introduced in Skype 5.0 and we've been listening intently. For this reason, we're excited to announce the return of the slim contact list that so many of you have been requesting. Now you can reposition and resize your contact list however you like. We believe this change will simplify your experience."

The firm also said that Skype 5.8 for Mac has improved desktop sharing for those that pay $10 a month, but most importantly for Mac OS X users, the firm said Skype 5.8 will work with Apple's upcoming Mac OS X 1.8 Mountain Lion operating system.

In time-honoured fashion, Skype's unloved Linux client got an update that brings it up to version 4.0. The firm's new features for Windows and Mac OS X clients don't appear in the Linux client. Instead it has relatively dull updates that the firm claims improve audio and video call quality and chat synchronisation, and new emoticons make an appearance.

There are Skype clients available for only a few specific Linux distributions - Ubuntu 10.04, Debian 6.0, Fedora 16 and OpenSUSE 12.1. Users of other, and older, Linux distributions probably won't be able to use these Skype clients due to missing dependencies, so apparently they will just have to continue using the old Skype for Linux 3.2 beta release.

Such is the state of Skype for Linux that the firm listed a "much lower chance Skype for Linux will crash or freeze" under small improvements and fixes. Then again, any expectations for feature parity between Linux and Windows Skype client versions went out the window when Microsoft bought the company. µ


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