happygeek 2,411 Most Valuable Poster Team Colleague Featured Poster

There are not many things, it has to be said, that a Linux user would covet of his Windows using neighbor. Skype is quite possibly one of them though, but not for much longer. The first meaningful development for the Linux Skype client in almost a year has arrived in the shape of Beta 1.3.0.30

I was starting to think that Microsoft rather than eBay had acquired Skype, such has been the time, money and devotion lavished upon the Windows client since: video calls added, stability issues fixed, UI beefed up yada, yada, yada. The bad news is that Linux still does not get any of these. So why the excitement? Well how about because it has been updated at all, suggesting that the eye candy big guns are not too far away. The fact that Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) has now been incorporated so that Skype can be switched between this and the default Open Sound System (OSS) is none too shabby either. Nor is the public API for X11 windowing, which might mean some application integration on the Linux front finally.

Oh, and while on the subject of non-Windows Skype versions: do not be tempted by the video enabled Mac version that is doing the P2P rounds. This is actually an internal development version, and one that Skype itself claims to be unstable and extremely buggy. In an attempt, perhaps, to dissuade the curious Skype also warns it will eat your contacts and ‘other data’ as well as your children. Err, actually, I may have added the bit about children, but you get the idea…

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