Microsoft launched Skype for Linux Alpha back in July. Over the next six weeks, the company launched sporadic updates that added an array of features to the preview. Through September the updates came quickly but slowed down on features. However, the newest release does come with a new feature.
Skype for Linux Alpha has now moved to version 1.10. This build introduces the ability to make video calls. Considering this is a core feature for the Skype experience, it is a welcome addition. Since Alpha launched three months ago, this has been the most requested new function.
Of course, this is still a service in preview. However, over the last six weeks there has been a feeling Microsoft is moving closer to a full release. As mentioned, new builds have focused on tidying the experience. Version 1.10 brings a necessary functionality to the service and the Skype for Linux is taking shape.
Another clue we are moving towards a full release is the fact Microsoft has disabled version 1.1 through 1.6. That means any users on those builds will have to update if they want to continue using Skype on the open source platform.
Skype for Linux Alpha is Microsoft's attempts to make amends with Linux users. We were the first to report on this service in July. At the time we explained how Linux users had been neglected with an aging Skype experience that no longer worked properly.
Alpha is by no means the finished article, but it goes a long way to giving Linux users a full Skype service. However, interestingly, the suite could go through another major overhaul soon.
We reported earlier in the month that Microsoft is working on creating a truly universal Skype app. At the moment the company has the Skype Preview Universal Windows app. Other platforms are handled by apps that are updated independently.
In other words, Skype is never in sync across services. That is evidenced with Alpha, while is vastly different to the complete service on iOS, for example. Microsoft's plans could see the company launch one Skype service that is the same across all platforms.