Such is the success of Skype that its name has become synonymous will VoIP in the same way ‘Hoover' replaced vacuum and ‘iPod' represents MP3 players, so this should peak a great many interests...
The first public beta of Skype 4.0 has officially been launched and it brings with it a raft of new features.
Key most among them is a complete visual makeover which offers multiple contact options - including call, video call, instant message and SMS - at the touch of a button. Conversation history has also had a spit and polish and a new ‘Conversations' button shows your interaction history with a single click. This can then be searched either by time, contact or by key word through an integrated search bar.
Lastly a larger, full screen video resolution should enhance video calls for what Skype is describing as the feeling of "talking to someone face-to-face" though that kinda depends on the size of your monitor (and friend!).
"We're sharing this beta with you a little earlier than normal because we know it's a big change, and sometimes change can take some getting used to," said Skype Development Manager Mike Bartlett. "We're going to spend the whole summer listening to your feedback and making changes so that when we do launch the final version, we'll make sure it's perfect."
Speaking of which, Bartlett says the full history and contract group features won't be in this first beta (it's also Windows only) so the cautious/Mac owning amongst you may want to hold your horses. Everyone else, saddle up!