Skype for Windows 2.5 Beta Available

Skype LogoI did not expect this so soon; but Skype have released the next beta version of Skype.

On the Share Skype Blog they have announced it as of today. The features are listed as follows:

  • Shared Groups
  • Send SMS ability
  • Easier SkypeOut calls and dialing
  • Video no longer limited to Windows XP only
  • Call Quality Helper
  • Improved conference calling with voice meters
  • Easier to buy Skype credit
  • Easier Upgrades

The BIG ommision is they have not included the ability to record calls! This is a huge disapointment in my opinion, as a podcaster it would solve a lot of problems and issues. The world would be a better place if I did not have to go through the crap I do to produce our podcast if I could record Skype. In addition the quality of the podcast would be infinitely better. I really was hoping that this was in the deal.

Apart from that the features they have included seem cool. I have never seen the advantage in SMS – I don't use it myself and think that using a keypad with three or four letters to each to be a waste of my time. But I can see the advantage for others. And I suppose that from my computer; with keyboard attached it would be easy to send an SMS now.

As far as the other stuff the improvements to conference calling and groups might be interesting but to be honest I do not think that it would make a big difference to how I use Skype. Easier to buy Skype credit, well that's in their interest!

As far as call quality assistance, my call quality is fine and I know what causes the issues, and since I have a reasonable internet connection it is not usually a problem. It might however be of assistance to people that are not savvy with computers and want to use the technology. Not much help to me though.

So all in all this release isn't that ground breaking for me and the omission of recording calls is a major let down and disappointment.

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SkypeIn for Australia

Skype LogoGreat News! Skype announced today that they have made SkypeIn numbers for Australia. So I went off and got one, why not? Aside from the fact that that it is a lot cheaper than through the normal channels, I don’t have to get off my arse and answer the phone if I am on the computer.

You can ring that number from any landline anywhere in the world at the cost of Skype rates, which are dirt cheap. To give you an idea; here in Australia a call anywhere in Oz will cost 0.027 cents per minute (no, the zero is not a mistake).

BUT when you use this number (and you are outside Australia) remember to add the country code, 61.

This is also going to be great for Global Geek Podcast as people can leave Voicemail feedback that we can play on the show. I would prefer it if people would use Odeo as that is easier to include in the show because it is encoded as an mp3 and I can just download it and cut and paste it into the show during the editing.

If you want a SkypeIn number I would be quick; because there isn’t an unlimited supply of numbers. You might have to wait for more numbers to become available if you wait too long.

One thing I forgot to mention is that you get a free Voicemail box for three months when you sign up for SkypeIn and thats a cool freebie if you ask me.