Skype today announced the launch of Skype 4.0 for Windows, a new version offering full-screen video calling, clearer call quality and a tweaked interface in addition to to program's bread-and-butter services such as free voice and video calls to other Skype users, instant messaging, SMS, and calls to landlines and mobile devices at low rates.
Welcome improvements for the program, which is growing in popularity among business users.
Face-to-face video calling is the program's key new feature, backed by a new built-in bandwidth manager optimizing the video calling experience, even on a low-bandwidth connection. With a connection at 400 Kb/s or higher and a dual-core processor PC, Skype delivers up to 30 frames per second of video.
The company also says call quality is substantially improved, and a new audio codec achieves wideband audio quality using 50 percent less bandwidth than previously required, the company says. It also 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, according to the company.
A new Conversations Tab makes it easier to keep track of multiple conversations in one place, and you can switch eaily between communication methods (video, audio, SMS, etc.).The program also has introduced a compact view to complement the full-screen experience.