Skype Beta

I recently advised to take a look at new beta version of Skype software, which I have to use nevertheless I would prefer Jabber for instant messaging if I would be free to choose. I was told that finally multiple chats are hosted in a single window and it is extremely convenient. While this looks hardly an advantage particularly to me, I still wanted to take a look at new fresh better Skype out there.

I am still very much disappointed by the trend of rewriting GUI. For god sake, who the hell needs that every single vendor mimic Vista’s GUI elements on his own? Why the hell would I want Vista buttons on Windows XP? They are still there as if there is no way to put an extra button to switch between compact and full view.

It may look that it is not worth whining around as this is a minor thing just to make it this way and not the other. Here is the Skype team achievement in imitating Vista interface on XP:

Window’s non-client area sometimes is calculating incorrectly and layout is updated so that menu has an extra empty line. The company massively invests in custom GUI that comes out crappy going out of uniform OS look and in additionally it is still buggy after passing QA. Yes, it is still a beta but it still gives a great idea about how things are cooked: a lot of work behind the scene and bugs are still here as a result.

Improved usability is questionable to say the least. A quick glance revealed issues:

  • area for typing in chat text is surprisingly small, even on expanded large enough window
  • roster has persistent useless (for me) items which were optional previously
  • roster has another GUI glitch most likely caused by new look
  • groups reworked as a dropdown list and if previously I could – this was very useful – multiselect groups to be visible by clicking them with a Control key being hold, this is not an option anymore, thanks for that

Update: luckily there is “Classic Windows” option!

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