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Skype releases new version: incremental, no eBay (yet)

I've downloaded and have been using the new Skype for Windows Version 1.4, which went live on the Skype site last night.

I've downloaded and have been using the new Skype for Windows Version 1.4, which went live on the Skype site last night.

Despite some anticipation toward the contrary, this is an incremental release- not the revolutionary one we'll presumably see when eBay fully figures out what they are going to do with Skype. When that happens - months away, I would say- then we'll see all sorts of eBay logos, integrated functionality, and related third-party plug-ins.

But until then- and that's a big "until"- the march forward seems to be more of one where functions formerly in beta become sanctioned as official. Such is the nature of by-the-tenths revs (i.e., 1.4 as opposed to, say 2.0).

That's not to say the two main new capabilities aren't useful. They are.

The two new official functionalities are Call Forwarding and Personalise Skype.

Call Forwarding allows callers to forward their incoming Skype calls to another Skype Name, or up to three landline or mobile numbers when they’re away from Skype, at no cost to the caller.  Skype users may forward their calls to another Skype Name free of charge, or forward to traditional phone numbers at SkypeOut rates.  The company says that 83% of beta testers who have tried Call Forwarding found it easy to use.

Skype’s new Personalise Skype offers users the capability of using original pictures, sounds and ringtones for as little as 1 euro ($1.20).  Skype is positioning this feature as "a new and exciting market for content providers looking to deliver great applications to Skype’s global callers." Personalise Skype's initial content  partners are American Greetings (think ecards) Qpass (think micropayment authorization tech for ringtones) and Wee World (avatars).

Well, this is a start. Based on what's there, maybe Skype could work with Wee World to dev an avatar that says, "come meet me on eBay." Or maybe even a greeting card that invites Skype users to an eBay auction the caller is currently conducting?