I am sure you have noticed it already, as every year the same thing seems to happen over and over again. There seems to be a tendency to go crazy and release new applications or new versions of already existing applications on a very regular basis towards year end and if in the past few days we have seen the latest version of Opera (And the Opera 9 first Preview), or FireFox (With the 1.5 release just made available yesterday) and IE 7 Beta 1 just around the corner (See /.’s article on the subject) the turn now is for Skype.
I have already upgraded both of my browsers, Opera and FireFox and have been working with them quite happily so far (Maybe I will share a couple of thoughts some time later on after I have played around with them for a little while). Just this morning, though, it was the turn for Skype, which now has got the first public Beta of Skype 2.0 (See change log over here).
There are lots of things that have changed and improved with this new Beta release but you would have to agree with me that the killer feature of them all is the one that us, Skype end-users, have been asking for quite some time now; and that is, videoconferencing, perhaps one of the most powerful collaborative environments for those folks working remotely and who would need to have a number of different remote events with other people in order to get their jobs done. Of course, I had to try it out since it has been made available for free, so I got it installed and after the initial install and basic testing of the webcam settings within a minute I was up and running ! The quality of both the video and the audio is just outstanding, as usual, and the ease of use has been improved tremendously by polishing some of the already existing features. And it is stable. For sure, highly recommended to upgrade, specially if you are looking for a much more powerful collaboration environment than just IM and VoIP.
You would remember how not so long ago I created a weblog post about Giving up on Instant Messaging, well, with this new release from Skype that is just about to become a reality because instead of having to install other plugins like Festoon or Video4IM and whatever other IM clients I got everything in one single client: Skype 2.0.