Yes, it has taken something like 2 years from first conceptual ideas being bounced around. I’ve been involved in Skype’s Desktop clients team since March and I have to tell you, approaching the first beta launch of our 4.0 client is one of the reasons for deafening silence on this blog. June especially has been very intense and I’m truly proud of what the hundreds of people involved have pulled off.
Please do read the official blog post, download the client and start giving feedback on things you like and things you don’t. This multi-stage beta program of a radical redesign is very special for Skype, so I promise you – feedback will be listened to and even slicker beta 2 will follow.
The high def video clips (briefing, intro demo and advanced demo) might also be worth your time to get a quick start on what’s happening. Or just think of them as your last chance to see Mike’s stellar on-screen performance for free. Next time you might have to stand in line and buy a ticket for the big screen. Of course, you can share these clips in your Skype mood message, also on 4.0.
As for myself, I’ve been using internal versions of the next generation client primarily for almost half a year now. I could not go back to versions before even though there are still a bunch of features yet to be implemented. Unified conversations bringing chat, file transfers, SMS and calls neatly together. Conversation management with proper unread message tracking for heavy traffic multichats. Large crisp video calls. Headsets and USB speakerphones getting managed as I need.
One thing that has been really painful for last months is that I could not share all this neatness with my friends yet. So, here you are now, enjoy. Hope you like it.