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Microsoft Linux

Microsoft Finally Releases New Skype App For Linux (skype.com) 164

Four months after Linux users complained about issues with Skype app -- an update in March apparently broke the instant message and video calling app -- Microsoft announced a few minutes ago the launch of the Alpha version of a new Skype app for Linux, a move that "reaffirms the company's commitment to the Linux community." The blog post adds that there will be a two-hour Q&A session todat at 7AM PDT between Linux users and engineering team to welcome the new app. The alpha version uses the "latest, fastest and most responsive Skype UI." The company also says that users on Skype for Linux 4.3.37 will no longer be able to use the app to make or receive any calls -- so you really need to use this new app. In the blog post, Microsoft also adds that anyone with a Chromebook and Chrome for Linux can now visit web.skype.com to make one-to-one and group voice calls on top of text messaging feature. It is also an alpha version of Skype -- and is built on top of WebRTC standard.
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Microsoft Finally Releases New Skype App For Linux

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  • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @10:43AM (#52503705)
    NT
    • It's possible, maybe likely, that MS will not support anymore the old Linux versions (has been 4.3 for ages), i.e. the Skype servers will not allow a connection from that old prog, i.e. you'll have to upgrade.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's possible, maybe likely, that MS will not support anymore the old Linux versions

        Likely enough that they stated so in the summary?

        The company also says that users on Skype for Linux 4.3.37 will no longer be able to use the app to make or receive any calls -- so you really need to use this new app.

        • Not allowing Skype for Linux 4.3.37 to make calls is going to be a huge deal for me. I'd happily upgrade to a newer version if one existed. Thing is, an alpha release doesn't count as a newer version to me. Especially since TFA has this little gem smack in the middle of it:

          As you may have guessed by the name, Skype for Linux Alpha is not a fully functioning Skype client as of yet.

          Further down, there is a link to a help page with the available features. Looks like everything I use, common things, are t

      • Any sign of 64bit yet?

        We pretty much ditched skype because of the lack of 64bt linux suppport.

    • Utterly pointless as Linux users already know how to connect two cans with a piece of string!
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      And today there are a lot of alternatives to Skype and a new version would not appeal to many users anymore, especially considering the Windows 10 headache.

      • Please List?
        Must work on Linux, PC and Mac, with mobile versions.
        Allow voice and video conferencing.
        Can be downloaded on a reputable site.

        • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

          Just look here: http://alternativeto.net/softw... [alternativeto.net]

        • I'd like to add two additional criteria on an and/or basis:

          *Enough wide spread adoption that I don't have to coax all my existing contacts to migrate to the new system.

          AND/OR

          *Also be a multi-protocol application like Pidgin or Trillian. That way I can still keep in touch with those who haven't yet, will not or can not migrate.

          One reason I stuck with MSN messenger so long is that I had several friend who had locked down desktops at work and so could only use Windows Messenger that came built into XP.

  • Nice! (Score:5, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @10:44AM (#52503707) Homepage Journal
    It has deep integration with systemd too. What could possibly go wrong?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...there will be a big nasty popup installing Win 10 by default?

  • App sounds mobile application. Maybe "package" or even "program" would fit better for a non-mobile Linux OS.
    • by WallyL ( 4154209 )

      Technically it's correct, and a few characters shorter, but I do agree: Package is a better term to use in the Linux space.

      • Technically it's correct

        "Application" is technically correct.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          People were shortening 'application' to 'app' long before the first iPhone, so that's also technically correct, just not as common anymore.

          • People were shortening 'application' to 'app' long before the first iPhone, so that's also technically correct, just not as common anymore.

            I'm surprised Apple haven't trademarked 'app'

    • App sounds mobile application. Maybe "package" or even "program" would fit better for a non-mobile Linux OS.

      Well, it is an app. It is based on node.js and just runs in a Chromium shell.

      I wouldn't call it an application, the only application in the new Skype for Linux is Chromium, which just happens to be hardcoded to run the Skype web-app.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @10:50AM (#52503763)

    And yet, the skype password is stored in plaintext in a sqlite file on Linux.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So what?
      If you use pidgin, then all passwords are stored in plaintext as well.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        If you use pidgin, then all passwords are stored in plaintext as well.

        Not unless you deliberately check the box to save the password. It's unchecked by default.

    • Duh, that's so when a Linux user gets pwned, Microsoft can point the finger and say "See!! Linux is so insecure, you're so much better moving to Win10!"
      • ... where your password is stored as plaintext in an ACCESS DATABASE!

        • Probably Access 97 too, so they'd claim security through obscurity.
        • ... where your password is stored as plaintext in an ACCESS DATABASE!

          which really is more secure because, really, who uses Access for anything important?

          • ... where your password is stored as plaintext in an ACCESS DATABASE!

            which really is more secure because, really, who uses Access for anything important?

            Far too many. I've seen entire businesses run on Access Databases

        • ... where your password is stored as plaintext in an ACCESS DATABASE!

          Where did you get that impression from? The login information is stored in a file named config.xml and is certainly not plaintext. You can check it out for yourself.

          --
          .nosig

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @10:51AM (#52503767) Homepage
    Skype for linux is one of those innovations from a market leader that youd expect if other market leaders came out with similar products. For example, Crispy Creme donuts stuffed with gravel, or new mcdonalds bacon double wall spackle burger.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      For people who need Skype-like support:
      Linphone (up to ZRTP capable encryption)
      Ekiga (unencrypted videochat only?)
      Jitsi (Also ZRTP+OTR, java, binary components in package, source available)
      Pidgin (XMPP, SIP, VV support, but not sure about crypto.)
      And a number of others.

      It is time to make a concerted push to educate the populace on Skype alternatives and stop government surveillance of private communications in its tracks. If they have a pressing need to know a specific individuals communications, let's make

      • And for people that find setting up things like XMPP too onerous, there are other tools available, such as Viber.

        Also, there's a new tool out called Franz, which is basically a very clever container that wraps the web APIs for various services including Slack, Whatsapp, and a bunch of others. It's desktop only, but I've been using it on my Mac and have so far been very happy with it.

        http://meetfranz.com/ [meetfranz.com]

        For desktop use I can't recommend it enough. No separate accounts to set up like Trillian, and you get

    • Skype for linux is one of those innovations from a market leader that youd expect if other market leaders came out with similar products. For example, Crispy Creme donuts stuffed with gravel, or new mcdonalds bacon double wall spackle burger.

      What's wrong with Skype being supported on Linux? Many enterprises are using Skype as a video conferencing solution, and lack of Linux support means that it doesn't cover all of the major platforms, which puts it at a competitive disadvantage to Google Hangouts. Cross-platform VC is important, and useful, particularly when it's integrated with calendaring and meeting room reservation systems (as both Hangouts and Skype are -- well, I assume Skype is integrated with meeting room reservations; Hangouts is).

    • Come on now, if the food tasted like it was home made how could they ever expect to automate making it?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This also works with Chromium on Debian GNU/Linux.

    So no need to install non-free software like the actual Skype client binary or Chrome to use it. The only non-free part is now the Javascript running in my browser and the server-side code.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      The only non-free part is now the Javascript running in my browser

      Even that would be enough for some FSF ad campaign to say "Say No to Skype". FSF is already doing that against GitHub and SourceForge [fsf.org]. FSF gives them an F in support for free software principles because critical features are broken without running proprietary script. GitLab gets a C because it requires manual whitelisting in the tool that allows only free scripts to execute [gnu.org] and encourages bad license choices (such as "look but don't touch" and not specifying a license version).

    • This also works with Chromium on Debian GNU/Linux.

      Interesting... since Chromium can be run on a Raspberry Pi, does that mean a Pi can be used for Skype now?

  • Don't use Skype! (Score:5, Informative)

    by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @11:08AM (#52503861)
    Microsoft does not protect their user's data, and Skype itself is a security and privacy nightmare: https://www.eff.org/node/82654 [eff.org] (N.B. the EFF is going to update this score card soon, but it's still right about Skype; see here: https://www.eff.org/mention/ns... [eff.org])
    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      >Telegram listed as secure

      Entire list disregarded as bullshit.

      • >Telegram listed as secure

        Entire list disregarded as bullshit.

        If you use the Secret Chat function, it is in fact secure. However the regular chats are not. The scorecard is correct.

    • Who does?
      I hear complaining about company X, Y, and Z on how bad they are. Who is actually good?

      • by nadaou ( 535365 )

        > Who does?

        In this context https://meet.jit.si/ [meet.jit.si] is good. Actually scratch that they're awesome. Fully open source and zero install beyond already having Firefox or Chrome installed on any platform. Because there is no install there is no social network or geek barrier, everyone just visits a common url at the same time. link and time sent via text message or email beforehand which isn't quite the same as a phone ringing but a txt saying "hey get online https://meet.jit.si/YourFamily... [meet.jit.si]" really isn't that

  • Requirements (Score:5, Informative)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @11:12AM (#52503895) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately, they built it on a fairly new OS, making it impossible to run on many still supported (and systemd free) distros, despite there being nothing that's really needed that only the newer distros provide.


    Error: Package: skypeforlinux-1.1.0.21-1.x86_64 (/skypeforlinux-64-alpha)
                          Requires: libstdc++.so.6(GLIBCXX_3.4.15)(64bit)
    Error: Package: skypeforlinux-1.1.0.21-1.x86_64 (/skypeforlinux-64-alpha)
                          Requires: libstdc++.so.6(CXXABI_1.3.5)(64bit)

    • As long as it works with Ubuntu 14.04 it will work for most.
    • Unfortunately, they built it on a fairly new OS, making it impossible to run on many still supported (and systemd free) distros, despite there being nothing that's really needed that only the newer distros provide.


      Error: Package: skypeforlinux-1.1.0.21-1.x86_64 (/skypeforlinux-64-alpha)

      Requires: libstdc++.so.6(GLIBCXX_3.4.15)(64bit)
      Error: Package: skypeforlinux-1.1.0.21-1.x86_64 (/skypeforlinux-64-alpha)

      Requires: libstdc++.so.6(CXXABI_1.3.5)(64bit)

      Have you tried it on a systemd-free install of Debian 8?

      http://without-systemd.org/wik... [without-systemd.org]

    • How hard is it to package the binary along with all the required libraries together. Put them in some directory by themselves, and then have /usr/bin/skype be a script that uses something like LD_LIBRARY_PRELOAD to use the versions that work with the binary?

      If you have the right versions, you can just move the real binary to /usr/bin, but you're fine if you don't.

      Your distribution could set this up when they package it. There's no need for end users to ever have to worry about it.

      Personally, I'm just glad

    • Doesn't work for me, either.

      ~/Downloads $ sudo urpmi skypeforlinux-64-alpha.rpm
      A requested package cannot be installed:
      skypeforlinux-1.1.0.21-1.x86_64 (due to unsatisfied libgnome-keyring)

      Yet the dependency exists:

      ~ $ locate libgnome-keyring
      /usr/lib64/libgnome-keyring.so.0
      /usr/lib64/libgnome-keyring.so.0.2.0
  • That awesome feature that the windows version has....

    Advertising....

    Many colleagues were impressed that my linux skype install on the laptop was ad-free.

    • by jameson ( 54982 )

      I haven't tested this link yet (hesitant to update my Skype for that very reason), but here's a list of DNS names that supposedly cover all that Skype uses for ad lookup:

      https://gist.github.com/eyecat... [github.com]

      Now, Skype could circumvent such a mechanism (hard-code the IPs-- which could be circumvented with custom routing tables-- or inline the ads into the regular data stream, which would be very hard to circumvent, or just refuse to run if it can't access any ads (or `signed ads')), so even if it works now, it m

  • Hell No... (Score:2, Informative)

    by LVSlushdat ( 854194 )

    Sorry, everybody I used to Skype with, we now use Line.. Works everywhere we need.. I used to support/use MS products, but after I retired in 2010, all of my personal systems moved to 100% Linux, no dualboots.. After seeing what a "turd-in-the-punchbowl" Windows 10 is, NOTHING MS is gonna touch my computers/network. Yeah.. I know, big deal.. But its a big deal to me.. MS has gone off the rails...

  • I look at this, and the only I can think of is that Skype must be losing market share. Otherwise why would Microsoft care about maintaining it's commitments?

    Now that things like WhatsApp are available for the desktop as well as mobile, people no longer need to have to put up with the way Microsoft mutilates Skype more more and more.

    I know I stopped using it shortly after Microsoft laughably botched the MSN-Skype merger. The only reason I even still have the client installed is for "just in case".

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Now that things like WhatsApp are available for the desktop as well as mobile

      I thought users still needed to run WhatsApp for mobile in order to log in to WhatsApp for desktop, and users still needed a smartphone with an SMS plan to be able to activate WhatsApp for mobile. So if you switch from Skype to WhatsApp, what do you use to communicate with people who don't use a smartphone? I ask this because I want to switch from Skype to something else, and if my boss chooses to switch to WhatsApp, I would have to buy a smartphone and a plan in order to continue to be able to do my job. (

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        You don't need a plan, it sends you one SMS to activate the service (to confirm your number) but that's all..
        All the actual communication occurs over IP, so using wifi if you're connected. Once activated it doesn't touch SMS at all.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          You don't need a plan, it sends you one SMS to activate the service (to confirm your number) but that's all..

          Does the SMS have to go to the same device that is running WhatsApp? Or can I receive the SMS on my current flip phone, then buy a $110 Android phone from a prepaid carrier [t-mobile.com] to use solely as the authentication key to start desktop WhatsApp, and key the confirmation code into the app? And even if so, Skype is still $110 cheaper.

          • Unfortunately that is true. Everything revolves around having a mobile version of WhatsApp first. I also recently discovered that only one desktop can be 'active' at a time. If you switch to another machine, then the first one is disabled.

            But regardless, WhatsApp was just the example I used cause I happen to use it. There are plenty of other options available. A google search shows that there's an absurd number of choices available now. I found this while searching for most "popular messenger apps by

            • As an FYI, I just looked into Viber. It works the same way as WhatsApp.

            • A google search shows that there's an absurd number of choices available now.

              Which is part of the problem. If these apps don't federate, I could in the worst case end up needing to install a different app for each contact with whom I wish to communicate.

              • Hmmm, "worst" case?

                No, the worst case I can think of is having to install a different app for everyone with whom you wish to communicate, then a second app for everyone you wish to communicate with when they're on their desktop/ laptop/ other machine, and a third app for each one that you wish to communicate with in a social setting - say, 2.3 different applications per communicator?

                But worst cases aside, your general point is good - and is why I have Skype 4.3.0.37 on my ... what am I on, oh, Fedora 23 .

  • web.skype.com lets me log in using Firefox, no problem, so presumably it works there as well.

    Gerv

  • It's about opening your code for peer review and pull requests.

  • but the NSA is patient. Backdoors don't grow on trees, you know.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Skype video just goes to Microsoft/US Gov and anything they see that may be used against you gets kept. Vids of your kids playing with themselves get leaked too.

    Skype is garbage and as spyware as it gets in your home and office. Keep your kids away from it.

    Microsoft is not visiting Linux world for your benefit. Remember the shims required to boot Linux on PC's sold with SecureBoot?

    gtfo

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