Communication during the snow – new Skype announced

Ebay announced recently that it has decided to sell Skype as it doesn’t fit within its current business model – shock horror.

We use Skype everyday in the office, for work and play, as it’s hugely beneficial for staying in touch with the whole team especially during our recent outbreak of snow. Today Skype has announced its new version 4.0 has finally arrived, you can download it here. Adam Ostrow has written an interesting assessment of the new version.

I have been using the Beta version for quite a while now, and to be honest although the functionality is much better the video quality is still not as good as it could be.

I managed to make it in the office this week through the blizzards but several others from my team haven’t. To stay in touch we have used Skype’s instant messenger service and then we have had conference calls using the Skype video call function which is brilliant when it works. To be honest it’s not the most reliable of services. For instance, both I and my colleague Amy had video calls with Jed Hallam today who was snowed in in Nottingham and the quality of the video was poor. However, that said I have been interviewing people from China recently, and recording them over Skype, and the quality has been perfect. I have tried several services such as Tin Tin and  Pamela but I preferred Tin Tin as it was quick and simple to use.

Skype has described its new version as “using 50% less bandwidth than previously required. Moreover, it introduces super wideband audio that delivers crystal clear, richer and warmer sound to those using a compatible headset and a high quality broadband connection.”

I am not sure I agree with this comment, sometimes it’s great and others it’s truly awful and I feel like I am talking to Davros from Dr Who.

Adam surmises in his article: “The service now has more than 400 million members – my feeling is that if they improve call quality enough to the point that people start talking about the service positively again, it can lure back users like myself that have stopped using it for the SkypeOut business calls that generate revenue for the company.”

What do you think of the video calling function on 4.0?

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