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Microsoft Communications Software Linux

Microsoft Finally Releases A Beta Version of Skype For Linux (betanews.com) 66

"We want to create a Linux version of Skype that is as feature rich as the existing Skype on desktop and mobile platforms," read Thursday's announcement from Microsoft's Skype team. "Today, we're pleased to announce that we are ready to take the next step and promote Skype for Linux from Alpha to Beta." They're promising more than just better performance and bug fixes. "We have been listening to you and added in some of your top requests." Slashdot reader BrianFagioli shares the list:
  • One-to-one video calls can be made from Linux to Skype users on the latest versions of Skype for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.
  • Calls to mobiles and landlines with Skype credit.
  • Linux users can now view shared screens from other Skype desktop clients (Windows 7.33 and above, Mac 7.46 and above).
  • Unity launcher now shows the number of unread conversations.
  • Online contacts in contact list now include Away and Do Not Disturb statuses.

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Microsoft Finally Releases A Beta Version of Skype For Linux

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  • no group chat? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <gmack@in[ ]fire.net ['ner' in gap]> on Saturday March 04, 2017 @12:39PM (#53976201) Homepage Journal
    No group chat for Linux? This is actually a step backwards.
    • Where does it say no group chat?

    • I guess they're thinking "It's not like Linux users actually have any friends".

    • No group chat for Linux? This is actually a step backwards...its microsoft, consider the "source", they are still the primary os globally on the corporate enterprise levels. you can lead the horse to water but if the water doesn't stay starbucks on it, they'll go to dunkin' donuts because it is the easy way to retirement.
  • No text search (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kav2k ( 1545689 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @12:44PM (#53976225)

    Even though text messaging isn't the main feature of Skype, still not having any ability to search for text in conversation is crippling.

  • Beware of presents from Greeks.
    • The new adage says, "Beware of lending money to Greeks!"

      But anyway, I think you are spot on. FTF Announcement: "we have been focused on building a new experience that is in line with Skype’s ongoing transition from peer-to-peer to a modern cloud architecture".

      In other words, they want to drag you kicking and screaming into their cloud architecture. Oh, and say, "Hello!", to Microsoft Windows 10 Telemetry Spyware on Linux.

      You are the Fish, Microsoft is the Fisher, and Skype on Linux is the worm on

      • by ruir ( 2709173 )
        They are not deceiving anyone....It is just MS being MS.
        Government bitch, turning Unix more unstable, creating problems of compatibilities where there is none, binaries or interfaces that never mesh well with the native OS.
        It is neither in their best interest it works as well as Windows, nor has not ever been their policy supporting continuity of business.
        Those who drink the kool aid may think otherwise...
        • by umghhh ( 965931 )
          It actually does not work very well on windoze. I stopped complaining about windoze ever since I got win7. It has its quirks but it kind of works and does not bother me all too much. But skype of all ms products I have a chance to use is worst. I have also used many different chat SW and this is also the worst I have ever met except maybe FB.
  • by crow ( 16139 )

    Skype was one of the few remaining programs where the only available Linux version was still 32-bit. I still have the old version installed, though I haven't used it in ages.

    I think the only other 32-bit program I still have around is Adobe's Acroread, which they've discontinued for Linux.

    • Well, this one is not only "64-bit" only, it is specifically amd64 only. No arm64, no siree. And I'm typing these words on an armhf laptop.

      Not that anyone sane would run a closed blob of known spyware anywhere near their client machine, which either has important private keys on it, has ssh keys (most likely currently unlocked) to log to machines with such private keys on, or has a key stick put into it from time to time.

      • Hi. This is your client. Ever since you came over here with this GNU thingies I have been unable to open PDF files that work with DRM signing. Can you fix it?

      • Well, this one is not only "64-bit" only, it is specifically amd64 only. No arm64, no siree. And I'm typing these words on an armhf laptop.

        Remember that Skype *also has* a web client.
        (And the latest Skype for Linux was basically that skype web-app warped together in a single-package together with google blink and a few key plugins).

        Note: For Audio/Video calls, the web relies on ORTP, Microsoft's own Not-Invented-Here incompatible copy of WebRTC.

        On the positive side, the JSON/XML protocol use by the Skype Web client has been successfully implemented as a Pidgin pluging by Eion Robb ("skypeweb").
        Currently chat works (including group charts).
        Last

  • by Nocturrne ( 912399 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @01:47PM (#53976505)
    Why are people still using this? It's been known to be compromised by the US and Chinese governments for a long time. China even has their own "special" version ffs. https://www.amnesty.org.au/act... [amnesty.org.au] http://www.nartv.org/mirror/br... [nartv.org] Maybe they realized some people they disagree with are using Linux, so they needed to make a Linux version to gather that additional intel.
    • Why are people still using this?

      Because when the choice is a surveillance tool for unimportant conversations or not being able to communicate with another party that doesn't use ${one_of_many_other_tools} then just using a default always wins.

      It's why I now use WhatsApp. Not because I was swayed by anything that has happened, but because I moved into a country where it is extensively used and cutting myself off from others based on principle would be more negative than positive.

      • ...cutting myself off from others based on principle would be more negative than positive.

        Practice being a good steward and do not allow others to communicate with you in a manner that puts them in danger.

        • that puts them in danger.

          When I talk about the secret plot to overthrow a government I will.

          In the meantime I am practising good stewardship by filling up the the NSA's data troves with pointless garbage like the fact my mother is having problems with the cat peeing on the carpet. ... .Oh but I've said too much.... we're all in danger now.

  • by Jerry ( 6400 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @01:59PM (#53976547)

    Why should I install Skype (one poster called it spyke) and allow MS to use "Legal Intercept" to spy on my communications, or give that privilege to some gov agent?
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/e... [forbes.com]

    It was bad enough when Skype's previous owners burgled Linux users CPU and bandwidth to act as P2P for others communications and left daemons remaining in memory after Skype was shut down! Were they spying too? MS changed the P2P feature to a Linux server farm on which they installed their patented "Legal Intercept" software. If you use Skype you might as well open your Window and shout to the outside while you talk.

    I've moved on to other PRIVATE means of communication. One nice one that works well on my KDE Neon User Edition OS is "Wire".

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      You do realize that "Legal Intercept" is the same as phone companies (landlines and cell phones both) have had to provide to law enforcement for decades? I'm in favor of end to end encryption too, but it's hardly like a Skype call is worse than picking up the phone and calling someone.

      • Voice over copper wires was very strongly protected. It required evidence to support a wire-tap. VOIP and other internet traffic does not have those protections and mass surveillance is the result. Those who want to watch you and your family made sure those protections were removed in laws under the banner of your own protection.

    • Circumventing (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @07:17PM (#53977753) Homepage

      2 key things :

      - Skype has also a web interface. You can either run into your firefox browser (thus no local daemons). Or use Eion Robb's excellent "skypeweb" plugin for Pidgin / libPurple.
      (And last time I've read about it, this official new Linux client is basically the web app in its own self-contained app)

      - OTR is a message encryption that works over any protocol. It's completely agnostic to the messaging system underneath.
      If you want to avoid your privacy exploded, you could try to use it (but if both of your use non standard client able to run OTR atop of it, you might better switch to another network).

    • Why should I install Skype (one poster called it spyke) and allow MS to use "Legal Intercept" to spy on my communications, or give that privilege to some gov agent?

      Because people you want to talk to use Skype and nothing else. If you don't have people like that in your social circle then don't install it. It's a communication app. One of very many. There's no killer features it has that others don't. The only real considerations that you should have are:
      a) Do people I know use it i.e. will it actually be useful to have.
      b) Am I plotting a terrorist attack and don't want the government to know.

  • What's a "Skype?" That just sounds like a really shitty, bloated version version of Discord.

  • There exist alternatives that I vastly prefer, if it is only because they are not controlled by Microsoft. Microsoft, I guess you know where you can stick your Skype.
  • by nowsharing ( 2732637 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @03:03PM (#53976815)

    "We have been listening to you"

    In fact, we've heard everything you've said.

  • Skype has been replaced by chat programs like Slack, and meetings by the much more capable Google Hangouts.
  • for everyone to ignore it! ;)

  • by yelvington ( 8169 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @04:16PM (#53977103) Homepage

    Skype was a big deal back in the day. I can remember holding my laptop up to a window in Paris to steal an unsecured wifi signal and phone home. Wowza! But that was ten years ago. I have dozens of VoIP and video conferencing choices. The world has moved on and Microsoft is the backwater, not the mainstream.

    I spent a week in Ukraine a few months ago and wound up on a three-hour conference call with work back in the US, using Google Voice. (Whether that's progress or not is open to debate.) But I was not concerned about losing the 10-euro credit on my Skype account when I got an expiration notice from the Borg.

    Like the VHS tapes I just hauled off to Goodwill ... I just don't need it any more.

    • not the mainstream.

      And that's really all that matters now. Skype is utterly useless to me if I have no one to talk to. I now live in a country where EVERYONE uses WhatsApp. I got mocked for sending an SMS when I got here and didn't understand. Then one person handed me her phone and showed me the only thing SMS is used for is receiving 2-factor pins from banks / governments.

      Well that was sorted. I switched to WhatsApp. I also still have Facebook Messenger on my phone for no other reason than some people I talk to have it and

  • I'd like to see an official release of Skype for Business on Linux, there are native alternatives but they either lack features or are somewhat unstable. Mind you Skype for Business on Windows is pretty unstable too.

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