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Publisher / Editor @ CloudAve and Enterprise Irregulars. Industry Observer, Blogger, Startup Advisor, Program Chair @ SVASE (Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs). In his "prior life" spent 15 years immersed in the business of Enterprise Software, at management positions with SAP, IBM, Deloitte, KPMG and the like.

11 responses to “The Skype Beta Downgrade – First Impressions”

  1. mike.bartlett

    Hi there,

    Thanks for writing about the new Skype release, it’s always great to see just how passionate so many of our users are.

    Regarding the alerts, you should receive the little orange pop-up just above your system tray that tells you about the incoming IM, it should include the person’s name and a summary of their message. Perhaps you turned this off in older versions, it’s available from Tools -> Options -> Notifications. Additionally, instead of clicking on the Task Bar Skype entry, try clicking on the system tray when you have unread messages. If you then click on the specific message, it will open that message up immediately.

    Regarding having multiple conversations at the same time, which I have just about every day, I’m quite comfortable using Default view and just cycling through the conversations each time. However, if you prefer to have see them side-by-side, then perhaps you should try working in Compact view for a while? I’d be really interested to know why you don’t feel that’s a good option for you or if you had any further thoughts on how one might be able to view multiple conversations at the same time in a different way.

    Thanks again, and keep the feedback coming – we’re listening!

    Mike Bartlett

  2. mike.bartlett

    Hi again,

    Just one more thing, for working in Default view, I noticed your screenshot that the Contact List was selected rather than the Conversation List.

    I basically work all day in the Conversation List, which allows me to easily switch between active conversations. If I need to contact someone else, I just use the Search area above the tabs to locate my contact and start a new Conversation.

    Cheers again,

  3. Zoli Erdos

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your comments and trying to help. I tried Conversation List in the Default view, but still I find the idea of having to click between sessions one by one inadequate. I need to see all the active conversations in their own windows, so switching to Compact View was a no-brainer for me.

    All the alerts are turned on, yet they are unreliable, I can’t even ping their behaviour to the main Skype window’s open / background / systray status – just random. That includes the yellow popups. Here’s ac excerpt from a Skype chat, while we were both on 4.0:

    [10/1/2008 5:15:43 PM] Zoli says: unbelievable – now i did not even get the notification, just heard the lil bubbly sound (this machine is not yet reverted). can totally lose messages

    [10/1/2008 5:28:29 PM] Krish says: Yup. The last two messages you sent didn’t even have a notification. I think I will go back as soon as I come back from a walk.

    We’re back on 3.8.

  4. mike.bartlett

    Hi again,

    Ah, I understand exactly what you’re experiencing and this is something we are looking to change. The system tray alert will only appear if you haven’t had any messages from that person in the last hour.

    This was done to try and not overload you with too many notifications. But I admit it’s confusing and we should be making some changes here to find a good balance between notification and overload.


  5. mike.bartlett

    And just to confirm, you don’t get the orange system tray alert coming up if you’ve received a message within 1 hour, but you should get:
    1) Sound alert – useful if you are at your computer
    2) System tray icon should have bouncing alert, and if you click on it you get summary of messages
    3) Taskbar icon should be orange

    That’s a fair amount of notification of a message – if you aren’t receiving those then perhaps there’s a bug that’s been overlooked. I just tested it myself in both Compact and Default view and it seemed to be working as expected.


  6. johnlopez

    Hmmm, I was going to try the beta out, but looking at my screen I have 6 distinct chat sessions going and I often want to keep two up without starting a conference (I may be asking questions of a customer in one and a developer in the other… but I don’t want them *directly* communicating).

    It sounds like notification frequency and intensity needs some user side preferences if the default is going to diminish the notification “overload”.

    Personally, I often have my volume off or music loud enough that it is unlikely to be heard and a color change isn’t going to do me much when I’m faced with 2 wide screen monitors (it’s just to minor). The only think I notice are the taskbar highlight notifications… those need to be bulletproof.

    As an aside, signing up for your blog is an adventure. My usual user name was taken, so I tried to get the password, but I’m unsure which e-mail I used. So I try to retrieve, but it wants the CAPTCHA each time… and if you fail, it changes the CAPTCHA but doesn’t *show* you the new one until you fail a second time. Finally, once I got a new account (I gave up on pulling my old one, too much trouble) the post failed saying “Sorry, no posts matched your criteria. “… I had to go to the home page and recompose the post again.

    Great for anti-spam, but I’m not sure it is so good for getting comments from anyone but the most determined.

    After allowing *and* *and* to execute Javascript (graceful degrade, this is not)… I think this will work?

  7. Zoli Erdos

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your comment, and apologies for the inconvenience. The commenting system (as most of this blog) is under development, will need improvement.

    That said, you don’t need to have an account just to comment – you can be an ad-hoc commenter just providing your details here in the comment form.

    The account as such is for the entire Zoho universe, the blog is part of their single sign-on scheme. Btw, you can also use a Google or Yahoo account to log in..

  8. Michael Krigsman


    Thanks for letting us about these issues. I use Skype constantly in precisely the same way you do. Amazing how our work habits are so similar.

    Anyway, I won’t bother with Skype 4.0 until they fix these things.


    Michael Krigsman
    ZDNet blogger

  9. BigFurryMonster

    Same experience here. I am not upgrading to Skype 4 until it works well again for IM.

    Skype should realize that a person who uses IM is the same person who uses video, and wants one application to do both.