Microsoft has today introduced a new version of Skype for Linux. The company made the announcement, as teased last week, through an official Skype Blog. A new version of the service on Linux gives users on that platform a functional build of Skype after years of frustration.
We wrote last week that Microsoft's Skype for Linux tease was pointing towards a reintroduction of the service on the open source platform. Linux users have suffered a terrible Skype experience in recent years. Microsoft stopped supporting the service and for the most part Skype has simply not worked on Linux since.
While some Linux users think it is too little too late from Microsoft, others will welcome a new working Skype for Linux build.
Called Skype for Linux Alpha, the service is not yet in its fully developed form. Instead, the client is still being developed and Microsoft is seeking feedback from users. The company says it is launching the service because it wants Linux users to have it as soon as possible:
“We're sharing it with you now, as we want to get it in your hands as soon as possible. Once you've downloaded the app, you'll notice that it's very different from the Skype for Linux client you use today. For example, you'll be using the latest, fast and responsive Skype UI, you can share files, photos and videos and send a whole new range of new emoticons.”
Old Linux Build not Supported
Users of Skype for Linux Alpha can provide feedback to Microsoft. The company will use the information to prioritize features. Calling is based on Skype's latest “next generation” calling architecture. Users can make cross-platform calls to users on Windows, iOS, Mac, and Android.
However, the company points out that calls to the older version of Skype for Linux (22.214.171.124) will not work. This will frustrate some, but many have complained that even basic calling features have not functioned on the old build for some time.