Chris Kranky

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Skype makes a wrong turn

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

I love Skype and use it regularly, to call across the river
or across the world. The client has everything I need in a nice compact format,
easy to call someone, 1 click, send an IM, send a file, I can find you if I don’t
already have your contact details, the voice quality is better than a telephone
call, crystal clear and works even with the crappiest of Internet connections and
best of all the price is right – free. The classic “more for less” model works

I was using Skype Version 3.8 and couldn’t be happier, so
when Skype announced the new & improved Version 4.0, I couldn’t wait to try
it out. Skype significantly changed the user interface in Version 4.0 and user
interface changes always elicit strong emotions from the user base. Fundamentally,
we humans don’t really like change all that much.

Skype But I was willing to endure, change can be good, so I
started using Version 4.0, I would learn to love it after some time, right?

Unfortunately, after a week, I started calling my new Skype client
foul names and muttering the words “Skype by Microsoft” under my breath. Skype
Version 4.0 just sucks, it’s that simple.

But why does it suck? The failing here is classic again. The
desire for a client application to believe it is “the most important” thing running
on my computer and thus should command my entire desktop. What went from a
simple click to call model, became this multi-window affair. Guys – I’m just
trying to make a phone call.

I’m not alone in my displeasure, many who I’ve spoken with
also expressed their lack of love for this new client. Alas there is a
solution, you can download the old version here, which I did and am now happily
back on Version 3.8.

Management hint: Fire the committee that designed the horrid
client and let them go back to work at Microsoft, find the 2 people who did the
original client and let them make any changes.