MICROSOFT IS ATTEMPTING to impress cynical Linux users with an updated version of its VoIP and chat software product Skype.
On its blog, Microsoft said that Skype for Linux 4.3 includes an update user interface that more closely matches that of other platforms, a look introduced by Microsoft to more closely reflect its corporate identity, but at the expense of the app's API which disabled most third-party add-ons for the service.
Microsoft has also added a "cloud-based group chat experience" designed to be more reliable. It has made file transfers more forgiving for anyone using more than one device at the same time, and accessibility features for blind and visually impaired users enhance its accessibility.
Skype's sound support sees the biggest changes. Microsoft has added support for the Pulseaudio sound server and withdrawn support for the older Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) standard.
This is not likely to curry favour with Linux fans who would rather not have a Microsoft software product on their machines in the first place, let alone have to change their sound management software to cope with it.
Earlier this month, Microsoft pulled Skype for iOS from the iTunes store ahead of a revamp, while in March, the Microsoft significantly overhauled the Android edition to address disappointing battery life and push notifications.
While Microsoft's support for rival operating systems might not go down well with everyone, it does at least show that Microsoft's newfound sense of openness is not confined to its .NET library that the firm recently released as what it claims is open source. µ
We didn’t see that one coming
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