With every passing day VoIP gathers more momentum and public awareness and overpriced telcos the world over cry a little harder. Their muffled sobs just became more audible too as Skype 2.5 is here along with a bundle of new features.
Currently available only in beta format, the new edition makes some hefty improvements on version 2.0. Key most among them is audio troubleshooting. Since Skype is all about clarity this addition analyses the quality of each call and suggests fixes should it be deemed below par.
Also scoring major bonus points are the ability to now send SMS messages from within Skype (something that it going to be uber-popular), assisted international dialling (a drop down list of country codes are provided for you) and a revised payment system which lets you top up your account from within the software. Furthermore Skype can now view and directly call contacts from Outlook and share contact lists, something that will be particularly helpful for new users who can now easily grab a full phonebook from their mates.
In addition to Skype 2.5 itself, the company has also launched ‘Skypecasts’ which are live, moderated conversations allowing groups of up to 100 people from anywhere in the world to talk to one another. Skypecasts can be set up by interest, such as cooking, classic cars, Playboy back issues or buffalo riding and the host is able to mute, eject or pass the ‘virtual microphone’ to participants when they wish to speak. It all sounds like chaos to me, but chaos in a good way.
So if you want to continue the fine tradition of stickin’ it to da man , here is a newly improved reason to keep doing so. Until, that is, Skype becomes da man then we’ll all have to turn around and start beating it with sticks.