Microsoft's Linux app, Skype, gets updated

Microsoft's Linux app, Skype, gets updated

Summary: Microsoft has released a new version of Skype, its popular VoIP program, for Linux.


A few years back, Linux's creator, Linus Torvalds said, "If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I've won." By that standard, Linux won last year when Microsoft started shipping a new version of Skype, its then recently acquired Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) program, on Linux. In late May 2013, Linux is still winning as Microsoft has released an updated version of Skype for Linux.

Microsoft Skype on Linux. What next? Cats and dogs living together?

This latest edition consists primarily of bug-fixes. Microsoft/Skype software engineer, Marco Cimmino, wrote: "Not only did we conquer the navigation issues and bugs from previous releases, but we increased the stability when logging in from a Microsoft Account. There are also greater efficiencies, such as not having to re-type your password when entering via 'My Account' if you are already logged-in with the client. Voice messaging is optimized for ease of use and is now just one click away from the options window."

Installing Skype on Linux is very straight-forward. Microsoft provides detailed instructions for most popular Linux distributions including, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu. Many Linux distributions are also now including Skype in their software stores.

For example, I installed my copy and the 4.2 update, via Linux Mint 15's Software Manager. That said, 64-bit Debian, Ubuntu, and related distributions may need to install the libasound2-plugins:i386 package for audio support. In my case, I didn't need to install this.

Skype video-support, however, can be tricky. If you're finding you have trouble getting your Webcam to work with Skype, see this Linux Mint community posting, How to make Webcam compatible with Skype.

This version of Skype also doesn't have all the features of its Windows big brother. For example, Skype for Windows 8 now supports off-line video messaging. The Linux version has Skype's main functionality. It just doesn't have its bells and whistles.

Skype 4.2 itself—voice, video, and IM—is working well for me. While I'm much more of a Google Hangout user, especially since Google is integrating all its VoIP, video-conferencing, and instant-messaging features into Google Hangouts, That said, Skype has hundreds of millions of users. So, while Skype may not be your first choice for VoIP, it's handy to have it  ready and on call for when  friends or relatives want to ring you up with it.

Related Stories:

Topics: Unified Comms, Linux, Microsoft, PCs

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • they'll let it go soon

    I must be only because they acquired skype and they may be under some sort of obligation to support all the platforms for a while.
  • (since LD hasn't been here yet, I'll save him the effort of commenting)

    Yes maybe if linux users can actually find some free time when they are not compiling the linux they will try it out. Better close the telnet port first, though.
    • Funny, but

      Since Linux is dead according to LD, but his "God" actually makes an application for that "dead" OS, I still think LD has quite the challenge ahead of him to explain this one.

      I can hardly wait.
      • You went too far.

        "Since Linux is dead according to LD, but his "God" actually makes an application for that "dead" OS, I still think LD has quite the challenge ahead of him to explain this one."

        I didn't mind the teasing, but now you've crossed the line.

        You tried to turn something as innocent as fan-devotion into a religious obsession.

        Is that really how you see us, D.T.L?

        Do you really think that someone like L.D is nothing more than a mindless Zealot?

        If so, how do you see the rest of us "MS shills" then?

        Are all of us nothing more than second-rate cultists to you?

        Are we somehow inherently inferior to you because our preferences collide with yours?

        Do you truly believe that you're above the rest of us?
        • L.D is nothing more than a mindless Zealot

          No, of course not. But that's a persona that user intentionally chooses to portray on Linux articles.

          I do not approve of DTL's likening to religious devotion - seems like it'll just offend people with religious convictions unnecessarily, but to address your points - if a user offers nothing but complete loyalty to a product or brand and refuses to accept any criticism or alternative, then takes that opinion and attempts to spread it, avoiding all logical debate in favour of argument, then yes, their opinion in a debate is worth less in the context of the debate, for their argument is not one based on evidence, rather an opinion formed without a full experience of the matters. In a debate anyone who has first hand or authoritive evidence of the strengths and weaknesses of both arguments carries more weight than one who is less informed.

          The user that DTL mocked is infamous for basing his arguments on compiling and telnet ports as observed. Now a user of Linux would have first hand experience of the irrelevance of this, thus the argument is meaningless. This would be no different to a Linux promoter arguing that Microsofts windows software is impossible to use - someone observing the argument on a windows system would find the argument laughable. A user who has used both for an extended period of time is best informed.

          Experience of these sections leads me to believe that the last group - the best informed are the least likely to join the debates. It seems the less you know, the louder you shout.
          • "It seems the less you know, the louder you shout."

            So far, it seems you have the longest post.
        • I did not realize you were LD's twin, but ....

          if the shoe fits, perhaps it feels comfortable on you?

          What is it with "us" anyway? Do you feel part of a persecuted group?

          Perhaps that is your problem. I think for myself and do not feel part of any group. No-one else speaks for me, nor do attacks on others bother me personally.

          And is there in principle a difference between absurdly devoted fans and certain aspects of religious faith?

          Where is the line between a cult and a religion?

          Where does independent and responsible thought end and mindless obedience begin?

          I would love to see a long post from you on those issues.

          And I do not really care whether you think I "crossed the line" or not. I do not hold your opinions in a particularly high regard.
          • And before too many posters get their knickers in knots, ...

            once in a while elephants in a room need and deserve to at least have their presence acknowledged.
          • Pot meet Kettle!

            Mirror for you?
      • Haters hate

        That post is a clear indication who the haters are! I guess I'll feed the hate and respond. You may say what you want, but any logic that might have been gets lost so quickly in the hate and becomes just so much tripe.
        • Apparently...

          ...the fact that some people dislike or even avoid patronizing MS is offensive to you. Care to say why?
          John L. Ries
    • But you are LD

      We all know that, my dear jester. Have some caviare for your fine jokes!
  • Funny how Microsoft sees that 1%

    as something to support on Skype. Perhaps they know something they are not telling all the MS shills?
    • Of course they know something

      They have been on record as saying that Linux is a bigger threat than OS X, and has more users.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • DancesWithTrolls "Funny how Microsoft sees that 1% as something to support"

      They don't, really. The 'support' is meager at best.

      Skype for Linux is, with this newest 'upgrade', at version 4.2. Skype version 5.0 for Windows and Mac was released in October, 2010, whilst Skype version 6.0 for Windows and Mac was released in October, 2012. And neither group video calling nor offline video messaging are available in Skype for Linux version 4.2.

      Breadcrumbs, anyone?
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • MS support for Skype on Linux

    Since Windows 8 was WinME revisited they maybe going to release a MS-Linux.. MS is teamed up with google for youtube app this could be a good and bad thing.
  • Microsoft's Linux app, Skype, gets updated

    Yes maybe if linux users can actually find some free time when they are not compiling the linux they will try it out. Better close the telnet port first, though.
    • Migration

      This also serves as a way for linux users to continue using Skype until they can migrate off linux. When they go to the Microsoft Windows platform they can continue using Skype with ease.
      • Linux is here long term

        Microsoft is really good at making apps. Not so good at making OS's. So what, you can find those for free.
        Tim Jordan
      • Loverock-Davidson......pass the pipe Loverock everyone here at Zdnet wants

        some of what your smoking.

        Loverock if linux only has a 1% market share of the desktop as you always claim, why are they EVEN wasting there time doing this?........with all the issues they have with W-8 .....really why bother doing anything for a Linux user............
        Over and Out