Skype 4.0 Arrives on Linux, Better Late Than Never

A few days ago, Skype decided to monetize its software by displaying ads in between conversations. Most people found this unsavory, but Skype tried wrapping the advertisement scheme as display of “relevant content”, and made a bold claim that it would spark conversations. It goes without saying that Skype invited everyone’s wrath with this move.

Earning back some karma, Skype did something appreciable recently. The Skype software on Linux graduated to version 4.0 which is good news for Skype users who are in the habit of waiting for Skype updates now. The 4.0 release is codenamed “Four Rooms for Improvement” and brings in lots of new features, thus making for a better Skype experience on Linux.

The post announcing the release on the Skype official blog says,

With this release, we have finally filled the gap with our other desktop clients and we are now making many of the latest Skype features, as well as a lot of UI improvements, available to our penguin lovers.

The blog post claims improvements in UX, as well as the underlying communication technology. Minor changes include fixes for crash issues, newer emoticons and new language packs. There is also a fair warning that says that the first load of the latest Skype will synchronize the chat history, and things might be a bit slow initially.

The latest version of Skype offers packages for all popular flavors of Linux, but the download page lists older versions of all distros. This was a huge turn-off for some people.


It is sad to see that Windows users can enjoy Skype 5.10 while Linux users have to make do with Skype 4.0. This second-class treatment of Skype on Linux has been criticized extensively in this blog post. Linux might have its own ninja-skills and hacker-friendly tools, but when it comes to attracting third-party developers, it clearly has not been able to catch up with Windows.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.