Skype has revisited their popular chat and video calling application in the last couple of months, the result of which is a complete reworking of their popular application. Skype 5 is now out of beta and available for download.
The beta version of the application was super buggy. It managed to hose my USB and line-in inputs on my Macbook Pro, but with the release of the Gold version of the application, most of the kinks seem to have been worked out.
The new UI is a drastic reworking of the previous Skype version, and it’s going to take some getting used to for most. The development team seems to have taken the time to rethink every single aspect of the application. Personally, I think it looks great. Most people have a hard time with change, but I think this is a step in the right direction for Skype.
The Skype team has also added some new premium payment plans to their offerings, which will surely be controversial for some. While Skype still offers their free, pay as you go, and monthly plans, they’re also now selling a Skype Premium package.
If you want to do video calls with more than three people, or if you want live chat support from a Skype representative, you can buy a day pass, or a subscription to their monthly plan for $8.99 per month.
If you’re constantly video chatting with a team, then it might be worth the price, but we don’t see too many “consumers” taking advantage of the offering. Heck, we don’t see too many small businesses taking advantage of it either. If you work for a small business who operates remotely, that $8.99 per month cost could be multiplied based on the number of people in your group. It adds up really quickly. According to the Skype website, only one person on the call needs a Skype Premium account to gain access to the 3+ video conference feature. So, for a business of 3-5 people, it won’t be so bad, but if your firm has 20+ people, you’re likely going to need multiple accounts.
You can download the new verison on their website.