Skype 4 Beta First Impressions – Crap

A short and dirty review of Skype 4.

I’m a big fan of Skype. We’ve been using it in the office as our primary method of communication for years for a number of reasons. It allows us to instantly communicate via instant message. We can make calls in and out. Best of all, it has history, allowing us to backtrack through conversations and messages.

I thought Skype 4 would be more of the same.

But I hate Skype 4.

I honestly hate it. I don’t not like it, I hate it. I wish it were never born. Okay, I don’t feel that negative, but I will be downgrading and hope it gets taken in another direction.

Technologically there is nothing wrong with it. In fact it is now offering better, bigger video, and is supposed to sound even better than previous versions during phone calls (could not tell a difference). But, the thing that has changed for the worse in Skype 4 is the interface. I am all for revolutionary changes, but the current Beta is terribly confusing, albeit bubbly with big buttons.

The usual buddy list has been replaced with a huge window that houses both a buddy list as well as a right panel that houses everything else.

The phone itself has been given a nice makeover with new bigger buttons, but while in a phone call the big phone is replaced by a tiny phone icon that confusingly leads to ANOTHER mini dialpad. With this new setup quickly navigating a phone tree is a pain, for example.

Check out the skype 4 beta here.

Zach Katkin
Zach Katkin
Zach Katkin is the co-founder & CEO of Atilus. He is a Certified Google Professional, author, and lover of technology. He helps Atilus stay out ahead of online marketing trends and loves driving results for Atilus' clients.

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Recent Comments | 3 Comments
  • Tero
    Reply

    Absolutely spot on. I just tried it and got angry with the UI instantly. It’s got way too much sugar coat, the chat’s can’t be detached which is a major no-no and overall the UI is too ‘teen’ for me, a power user to use. I’m sticking with 3.8 and if Skype forces everybody to use their teeny-toy later, I’m jumping to Google talk or some other client with less useless crap on the screen.

  • Steve
    Reply

    I run Skype on Linux so I only get to use Skype 2. 🙁
    Skype 4 will probably be fixed when we get there, but Windoze version will probably be Skype 2000 by then smile

  • Nesjo
    Reply

    Looks as if Skype has realized there’s a problem because if you download 3.8 with 4.0b installed, up pops a survey box asking why you’re downgrading, with a bunch of radio buttons. Unfortunately you can pick only one so I chose “other” and filled in “pretty much all of the above”. And I blogged it.
    ——-

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