New 3.5 version out of beta

Skype changed the new 3.5 Windows version from beta status to a stable release today. You can get it here: download Skype for Windows

Remember some of my negative remarks on this new version in my previous blogposts. But of course, some new features are valuable!

They mention as new (since the previous beta releases):

  • Safety and Privacy Improvements
  • API: SET_INPUT for recording Voicemail

I didn’t notice any changes in the privacy settings (perhaps i overlooked something). But i read this on Skype Journal: Your home/business/mobile phone numbers are only displayed to your accepted Skype contacts, and not to everyone on Skype, when viewing your profile, etc.

If this is true, i am not happy at all: my main Skype account is a professional one, and i want potential customers to know my phone numbers and to call me! I would prefer an option in the privacy settings to show it or not show it! Most businesses want their phone numbers to be known. This "feature" is aimed at private persons. In my opinion again a wrong move, away from business needs.

The other new features (omitting the API and other small changes like languages) compared to the 3.2 version are:

  • Video Snapshot: Edit video snapshot should use system's PNG editor
  • Added fields in Options to allow Auto Redial on/off and delay between redials
  • Video Snapshot: right click on snapshot should provide a menu
  • Add video to mood and chat message
  • Video snapshot
  • Support for Firewire Digital cameras
  • Auto redial
  • Call Transfer (during active call)
  • Device Indicators
  • Edit chat messages
  • Private Telephone Numbers
  • Send contacts inside chat
  • Visual indicators for Audio In / Audio Out in options
  • In-Client Hardware store button


Vincent said...

You're not often happy Jean...

Lets look as this privacy setting change. I see two use cases where it was possible to see your phone numbers before and not now anymore.

1) Someone searches you on Skype, finds you, but then instead of simply calling you / chatting with you on Skype, he takes your mobile number and calls you on your mobile. Kind of strange, not really the expected behaviour.

2) You are in a call with someone that you have *not* authorized. This person doesn't see your phone numbers, which I think is how it should work, since you have not authorized this person to see your Skype status?
If you want this person to see your phone numbers, just authorize him, a one click operation.

On the other hand, someone not authorized calls you, like some spammer, you hang-up, maybe block him. Do you really want this person to have access to your phone numbers then?

Yes Skype is used by private person and businesses. Personally I think this change protects both.

Vincent, (yes Skype staff, not speaking in the name of Skype, just my own humble opinion)

Anonymous said...

Hi Vincent! Why doesn't Skype allow its users to chose on their own initiative? Let the users decide if they want to reveal their email and/or telephone number even to non authorized users. I can understand that most people wouldn't chose to display their email and phone, but for those who want (probably many who run a business), I think Skype should give them the freedom to decide.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jean! In the United States, cellphone users pay also for incomming calls! I would guess that Skype just found it unbelievable that anybody would freely give his cellphone numbers to strangers, or even spammers. Yet, I think Skype should let its users decide.

Helen Varras said...

Hi Vincent,

I have to agree with Jean. I also run my own business and I prefer my number to be visible for anyone. It happens extremely rarely that I am called by a Spammer. But I prefer this above not being visible for anyone who might need the services of my business.

Please let the Skype user make his/her own choice for any info been public or not.

I understand that you prefer the caller to be on Skype as well hence "If you want this person to see your phone numbers, just authorize him, a one click operation" ;-)

But I would like to be called by Non Skypers too who of course will become Skypers immediately after the call!!

Jean Mercier said...

To Vincent:

I am often very happy, i am even very happy that your read my blog.

But you should read my suggestion: if only one in 100.000 agrees, forget about the suggestion.

But from the other comments here, i think there are already 3 + myself asking the "freedom to decide for ourselves", and one is Skype Staff!


Vincent said...

In general I think Skype privacy settings are already quite complicated, here to let the user choose would add one more option.

In this specific case, I actually think that not letting the user choose was because of a technical limitation of the Skype architecture (P2P software has the limitation that new features have to be compatible with older clients too).

To be honest I'm (happily) surprised that people used Skype user search to search for businesses. I still think that if someone uses Skype to search for a business, they would prefer to contact this business over Skype.

Jean Mercier said...

you forget one thing ...

For instance, i was the whole day at the location of a customer. So, i was "off line". If somebody thinks it is urgent to call me, he will only do it if he has my telephone number. Otherwise, he will continue to search for somebody else, and i will loose a business opportunity.

But indeed, if i am online (but he can't see this if he isn't on my authorized contacts) he will call, and i will respond at once.

To be honest, i remember only once having received a real "potential" business call. But, i received quite a lot of "known" business calls on Skype.

And the few spammers ... well i take them, i have that on my PSTN phone line too (not too often anyway, the same with Skype). The advantage with Skype: when somebody i don't know calls me, i first look at his profile. If i don't like, i still can reject the call, or ask him by chat why he calls me (i often do this).

And by the way, i appreciate that you defend your employer: discussion and "constructive" quarrels are good feedback for Skype! :-)

Jean Mercier said...

Hey Sdddd ... if you had posted your "publicity" only once, I would have left it, but you spammed 3 times ... therefore I removed all of them!