Skype

Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 1914 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
4.1
File Size:
1.6MB
Date Added:
June 30, 2009
Price:
Free
Operating Systems:
Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Total Downloads:
19,274,056
Downloads Last Week:
47,668
Product ranking:
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' review

After Skype's previous offering took it a step back on the feature set, it's a relief to see version 4.1 reinstate some of those missing baubles--like accessibility provisions, birthday alerts, and the ability to send a contact to other Skype users. Version 4.0 saw Skype reworked, stripped down to its core competency (and most formidable challenge) of delivering high-quality audio and video calls over the Internet. The improved sound and video quality, were notable in our tests, the result of Skype 4.0's sound engine and bandwidth manager.

Public chats have also been temporarily omitted in version 4.x, IM still isn't terribly interactive, and the Skypecast partyline throwback has gotten the kibosh. Those chafing against the larger block of interface that consolidates the classic two-pane look into a single window can also split them in two.

But the real news in this minor version is a major feature: screen sharing. Screen sharing initiates a video call, using that technology to broadcast a recording of your screen--either a portion or the full screen--to one other viewer. Screen sharing has some limitations: you can't simultaneously see a video of your buddy and their desktop, and since only one viewer at a time can peep your screen, you can't use it as a free replacement for collaborative Web conferencing. It doesn't help that the picture quality is still choppy and fuzzy, in both partial-screen and full-screen view modes. Make no mistake, though: it's a great feature that we're happy to see added, but we'll be even happier to watch it improve.

Skype's central theme, though, is cheap calling from the desktop. Anyone who's interested in talking for free from Skype-to-Skype, or cheaper by purchasing Skype credit to call land lines and mobile phones, should give Skype a try. For international callers, this program is a no-brainer solution for slashing those long-distance bills.

Publisher's Description

More Products to Consider

All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    3.9

    out of 1914 votes

    • 5 star: 792
    • 4 star: 616
    • 3 star: 198
    • 2 star: 98
    • 1 star: 210
  • Current Version:

    3.8

    out of 64 votes

    • 5 star: 19
    • 4 star: 30
    • 3 star: 6
    • 2 star: 3
    • 1 star: 6
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-2 of 2

  • 2 stars

    "So far, not so great"

    August 06, 2014   |   By Wood5440

    Version: Skype 6.18.32.105

    Pros

    Nothing better than the old version so far as I am concerned. I'm not a mobile phone user, so any improvements in that regard are going to miss me.

    Cons

    I use Skype in Windows 8, usually on the XP replica desktop. I teach students through the internet so I need to use Word, Firefox and Skype at the same time. Previously I could show all three windows simultaneously on my monitor and see my own camera output in a small inset window in a corner. I had no trouble switching from the XP to Metro tiles desktops. But no longer.......I must choose. I can get the Skype audio, Word and Firefox but no Skype video and no camera output monitor on the XP desktop, or I can get Skype audio and video and nothing else on the Windows 8 desktop. I have also yet to figure out how to pin a Skype shortcut to the XP desktop, or even how to launch Skype from that desktop.
    At this point, I am not a happy camper.

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  • 5 stars

    "performs all functions i need."

    August 04, 2014   |   By BoldtHershey

    Version: Skype 6.18.32.105

    Pros

    Simple, efficient, no problems

    Cons

    No cons, quite happy with it.

    Reply to this review

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  • Results 1-2 of 2

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