In the very small hours this morning Skype made available for download Skype 4.0 for Windows. Thanks to the feedback of tens of thousands of people, the new version offers full-screen video calling, crystal clear call quality and is easier to use than ever before. In addition, Skype users will find all of the features they have come to expect – free voice and video calls to other Skype users, instant messaging, SMS, as well as calls to landlines and mobile devices around the world at very low rates.
With the all-new Skype, people can experience the benefits of free face-to-face video calling. It’s now easier to start a video call and experience full-screen video, which makes conversations more intimate and engaging.
Additionally, a new built-in bandwidth manager ensures that consumers have the very best Skype video calling experience possible even on a low-bandwidth connection. If you have a fast enough connection (recommended 400 Kb/s or higher), a dual-core processor PC and a Skype Certified High Quality Video Webcam, Skype delivers up to 30-frames-per-second High Quality Video.
Call quality is substantially improved in the new version of Skype. The new audio codec achieves wideband audio quality using 50% less bandwidth than previously required. Moreover, it introduces super wideband audio that delivers crystal clear, richer and warmer sound to those using a compatible headset and a high quality broadband connection. The bandwidth manager interacts with the codec to adjust quickly to fluctuating bandwidth conditions to produce the most reliable sound.
Skype now makes it easier to set up your headset, microphone and Webcam, so getting started is fast and simple to do in a few steps. The new Conversations Tab makes it easy to keep track of multiple conversations in one place, and you can switch seamlessly to your preferred communication method – free voice and video calls to other Skype users, instant messaging, SMS, as well as calls to landlines and mobile devices at Skype’s low rates. In addition, you can choose to use Skype in two different views. Default View has everything neatly contained in a single window or Compact View allows you to resize or put each conversation into separate windows.
“This is just the latest example of how Skype is continuing to innovate and improve its software to deliver an even better voice and video calling experience,” said Bartlett. “The combination of feedback from tens of thousands of users over the last two years of development has allowed us to create a truly amazing experience that puts the focus on bringing people closer together even when they are continents apart.”
Where to download
You can download Skype 4.0 for Windows from the Skype website (links opens in new window).
PC running Windows 2000, XP or Vista. (Windows 2000 users require DirectX 9.0 for video calls).
Internet connection – broadband is best (GPRS is not supported for voice calls).
Speakers and microphone – built-in or separate.
For voice and video calls we recommend a computer with at least a 1GHz processor, 256 MB RAM and of course a webcam.
For High Quality Video calls you will need a high quality video webcam and software, a dual-core processor computer and a fast broadband connection (384 kbps).