Skype 4.0 for Linux released

After three years of being in development and amid fears that Skype’s support for Linux will be dropped by Microsoft after the recent acquisition of Skype, the Redmond company released an updated version of Skype for Linux yesterday leaving all the rumors and fears to rest. The latest version has been bumped up from version 2.2 to 4.0 and it is no more a beta.  This release of Skype for Linux has been codenamed “Four Rooms of Imporovement”. The developers claim that they have been able to bridge the gap with other desktop clients (Windows and Mac).

The major improvements in this release of Skype are:

  • A new Conversations View where users can easily track all of their chats in a unified window. Those users who prefer the old view can disable this in the Chat options;
  • A brand new Call View
  • Improved audio quality
  • Improved video call quality and  extended support for more cameras.
New audio call interface

New video call interface
Other improvements include:
  • Improved chat synchronisation
  • New presence and emoticon icons
  • The ability to store and view phone numbers in a Skype contact’s profile
  • Much lower chance Skype for Linux will crash or freeze
  • Chat history loading is now much faster
  • Support for two new languages: Czech (flag:cz) and Norwegian (flag:no)
The new release however, does not bring the much awaited unified window for contacts, chat and video calls like the Windows client.
You can wait until the Ubuntu partner repositories are updated, which may not happen until next week. Skype is officially supported all the way from Ubuntu 10.04 up to the present release of 12.04. If you do not wish to wait that long, download Skype  by clicking the button below.

If you have Skype 2.2 installed, you will have to remove(uninstall) the existing package from Ubuntu Software Centre first. For terminal commands, see below:
sudo apt-get remove –purge skype?
sudo apt-get install lib32asound2 lib32gcc1 lib32stdc++6
sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/skype-ubuntu_4.0.0.7-1_amd64.deb

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