The past quarter has really passed fast. I’m amazed how much the 4.0 research, design, product and project management, development and quality assurance teams got through. Especially given that you have to work under timeline pressure while at the same time being called an ignorant moron (best case) on blogs, forums and random comments across the internet for creating the radically different Skype version you just released. Fortunately we also had plenty of quantified data and user testing around the world in lab environments to separate real issues from pure blind conservatism and hateful noise. Read more about the feedback stats from the official blog post.
That’s the risky transformation the software business seems to go through – applications with tens and hundreds of millions of users get launched in early beta stages, in feature incomplete iterations for feedback and mass-market testing. I am confident the better the end result will be. And if you look at beta 2, it really is powered by the feedback, (re)introducing such things as compact mode, grouping your contacts into categories, a totally revamped alerts and notifications system so you wouldn’t miss any incoming events and many more of the things you asked for.
One of the interesting ones in my circle of friends and colleagues has really been the compact mode. The loudest voices demanding Skype to take up less of their screen. Many happy campers once we enabled mode switching to give the poweruser more control of the screen estate. And funnily, a number of people who have now confessed that they’ve “sort of learned to like” the new one-window layout and really don’t want to go back…
Anyway, there is a new episode of the video series that has been taking world by the storm – Mike Explains Beta 2. In High Definition, of course: