Skype

Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 1915 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
4.1.0.166
File Size:
27.52MB
Date Added:
September 06, 2009
Price:
Free
Operating Systems:
Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Total Downloads:
19,341,252
Downloads Last Week:
34,645
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 1915 votes

    • 5 star: 792
    • 4 star: 616
    • 3 star: 198
    • 2 star: 98
    • 1 star: 211
  • Current Version:

    4.1

    out of 57 votes

    • 5 star: 21
    • 4 star: 26
    • 3 star: 5
    • 2 star: 2
    • 1 star: 3
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-1 of 1

  • 1 stars

    "Restricted hardware"

    September 06, 2014   |   By chr1s8

    Version: Skype 6.20.32.104

    Pros

    Looks nice. Free.

    Cons

    Limited to newer processors.

    Summary

    Be aware! Will not allow video calls on processors older than about 8-10 years, e.g. AMD athlons,AMD AP-range, many others. If your processor does not run the SSE2 instructions, message webcam not found will pop up. Use of versions older than 6.16 is now locked out.

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