Tag Archives: skype

Skype finally fixes “Skype Home” bug

Skype has recently released Skype version, which – finally – fixes the bug where Skype Home appears every time the program launches.

If you downloaded the KillSkypeHome applet, you’ll now need to remove that from your system after installing the update.

The update is available through Skype’s own update system, or from FileHippo.

Microsoft buys Skype–what happens next?

As you may have been reading in the news, Microsoft has recently agreed to purchase the popular VoIP service Skype. After a couple of previous acquisitions in the past, Microsoft has made it’s biggest purchase – this time worth well over $8 billion.

Before I even start, I think it’s fair to say that this is either going to be a monumental win or a catastrophic fail – one or the other.

The question is, what will Microsoft do with Skype? Obviously, Skype certainly hasn’t been in the green lately – it’s debts have definitely been on the rise. So, Microsoft have evidently got to make a few considerable changes – otherwise the rather large purchase will become rather a large waste of money – even on Microsoft’s terms!

I can imagine Microsoft will probably implement increased charges for the paid services. However, I do hope that Microsoft will lower the charges for features in Skype that could potentially become very popular – such as group video calling. I happen to think that group video calling was a very well implemented feature into Skype – but unfortunately Skype started charging ridiculous amounts of money for it. If Microsoft lowered charges to £1-2 per month, I would probably consider purchasing it.

The other big question is whether they will continue to support all of the operating systems that Skype currently supports. Microsoft has never really supported Linux and people are starting to ask if Microsoft will drop support for it. Personally, it wouldn’t surprise me hugely if they did – but it would be a real shame.

The sale probably won’t finalise for another few months at least, so we’ll just have to wait and see what changes Microsoft will inevitably implement. In the mean time, enjoy Skype in it’s current form while you can!

Skype’s RAM usage is dreadful!

I’ve been a fan of Skype for many years now – as it seems to be the most reliable and practical way to keep in touch with friends on the phone for free. I was a user of the Skype “subscriptions” for many months and was very impressed with the value for money and quality of the service.

However, it has come to my attention that the newer versions of Skype seem to be using extortionate amounts of RAM – even when the client is in idle mode.

Windows Task Manager (3)

Above is a screenshot of my Task Manager in Windows 7 32-bit on my netbook. As you can see, it’s using well over 80MB of RAM in idle mode. If you go into a call, this will trickle up to over 100MB.

I find this a little excessive – especially since the program is only trying to keep a login alive whilst in idle mode. Do something about it, Skype!

Skype over 3G with iPhone brings free calls – for now

Skype has recently introduced a new update for Skype on iPhone which introduces brand new calls over 3G. Previously, all calls had to be made over wi-fi.

The new update means that, for the time being, iPhone users can make free (or very cheap) calls to other Skype users as long as they have sufficient data allowances.

However, the use of the new feature is only available at no charge until the end of 2010. After New Year, Skype have said that they will introduce a small charge for the service, but the specific cost has not yet been confirmed.

In the mean time, if you have an iPhone, go make some calls over Skype. It could save you a lot of minutes on your contract.

Skype introduces new fixed minute monthly plans but hikes up prices at the same time

Skype, the giant VoIP network, has recently launched their new subscriptions which mean you can now by monthly subscriptions which give you a certain amount of minutes per month. This supposedly makes the service cheaper for users who don’t get through many minutes in a month.

You can also get plans with unlimited minutes (subject to fair usage) but these seem to have heavily increased in price.

Anyway, for the UK, the fixed minute plans actually seem to be very good value. The 100 minute per month plan to UK landlines costs just £1.19 per month (ex vat) and seems very practical. For 400 minutes, you’ll be paying £2.99 per month (ex vat) which also seems to be very good. However, you have to consider that this is a substantial price increase, as you used to be able to get unlimited (FUP of 10,000) minutes per month for £2.95 per month (excluding vat), so eBay (the company behind Skype) are obviously trying to make more money.

As for the mobile minutes plans, I’m very disappointed. In the UK, 60 minutes per month to UK mobiles costs a whopping £6.99 per month (ex vat). You might be thinking big whoop, £6.99 isn’t much – but when you consider that with giffgaff I get 100 minutes to any number + unlimited texts + unlimited calls/texts to people on the same network for just £10 a month, it matches Skype and has the added convenience of being mobile.

So overall, I’m pretty uninspired by the price increases. I think it’s just increased prices broken down into new plans, but I suppose some people will like the new plans which could be better value for people only using Skype casually for PSTN calls.

Oh and by the way, if you currently have one of Skype’s old subscriptions (such as the unlimited calls to UK landlines for £2.95 per month ex vat), don’t cancel it. You can keep paying the old, cheaper rate if you keep your subscription. However, as soon as you cancel it or miss a payment, you are subject to the new rates.