Microsoft has today transitioned Skype for Linux from the Alpha phase to Beta. This means the service will be called Skype for Linux Beta through this phase. More importantly, Microsoft has introduced this new stage of development with several new features.
The move to Skype for Linux Beta is actually build version 5.0 of the VOIP service on the open source platform. Microsoft says that it has been developing Skype for Linux to match its general switch of Skype. The company is in the midst of pushing the service towards cloud architecture. This departure from peer-to-peer has been seen across platforms.
“We want to create a Linux version of Skype that is as feature rich as the existing Skype on desktop and mobile platforms. Today, we’re pleased to announce that we are ready to take the next step and promote Skype for Linux from Alpha to Beta.”
Version 5.0 of Skype for Linux Beta brings with it some new features. Microsoft says it has been paying attention to customer feedback and the additions reflect such advice. Calls can now be made across platforms, while sharing capabilities have also improved from other platforms.
- Calling updates: Calls to mobiles and landlines with Skype credit, one-to-one video calls can be made from Linux to Skype users on the latest versions of Skype for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.
- Better collaboration: Linux users can now view shared screens from other Skype desktop clients (Windows 7.33 and above, Mac 7.46 and above).
- Usability improvements: Unity launcher now shows the number of unread conversations, online contacts in contact list now include Away and Do Not Disturb statuses.
Skype for Linux Beta
Microsoft has been consistently developing Skype for Linux through its Alpha stage. The company announced the service in July 2016. We reported earlier how Microsoft was pointing towards a reintroduction of the service on Linux.
The company had basically ignored its previous Skype Linux service and left it in ruin. Microsoft stopped support and the app simply did not work. Many Linux users thought Skype for Linux Alpha was too little too late.
Having said that, Microsoft has added more and more features to the service since launch. It is now a fairly complete Skype experience, even though it is still in preview.