With 309 million registered users and $126 million in first quarter
earnings, it'd be easy to see why some might want to leave well enough
alone, but don't expect Skype to remain stagnant. Despite the strong
numbers, Ebay investors are into Skype for $2.6 billion, an amount most
have since admitted was too much for the five year old company. In a bid for renewed faith for the pricey acquisition, Skype 4.0 will bring
some major changes to the table, and you can test drive a beta version
Should you decide to download the new client, you'll be treated to a slightly streamlined interface that's purportedly easier to manage. Instead of having separate Windows for individual IM conversations, Skype 4.0 clumps ongoing chat logs into list format - click the desired chat and it appears in the single, large Window that makes up the new interface. If you prefer the old format, a button in the upper right hand corner detaches the conversation reminiscent of the Skype version you're using now. The biggest change (physically) comes to video conferencing. Video calls are no longer tiny by default, and load up large and crisp to begin with. Improved hardware support round out the list of readily available changes, with even more to come by the time Skype 4.0 moves out of beta. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think.