I’ve been using Skype since ages, but it was never my wish. But back in 2000s, it was probably the first and only video communication solution. This helped Skype to grow so big. And this is how I always treated Skype: live video chat.
Because other functionality never worked really well for me. Let’s take offline messages for example. For a long time they were delivered only when both participants were back online. Which completely defeats the purpose of offline messages.
And speaking of messaging, there were always lots of alternatives, that were way better than Skype. When we discovered Slack my usage of Skype reduced dramatically.
When Skype was bought by Microsoft it didn’t change much. Okay, they fixed something, but the amount of advertisments and senseless user interface changes in Windows version of software became unbearable. I was very happy, when I switched to Ubuntu and started using abandoned Linux Skype client, which just works. And there are no ads, because they’ve never been implemented there.
Sometime ago new version of Skype for Linux has been finally announced. I was a bit sceptical when I first heared about it. I was worried that first thing they would do is to add ads. But that was not the case. The alpha version of fully reworked app was clean, simple and was not spoiled with any useless functionality, like video calling.
Yes, you read it right, the world’s most famous video calling software was released without video calling capabilities.
New #Skype for Linux doesn't support video calls. Sounds like a bad joke even if it is just alpha version.— Victor Kropp (@kropp) July 13, 2016
Well, maybe there was something extraordinary in this alpha build to be announced so early, that can justify lack of video chat support? Let’s check feature list:
Nothing. Oh, wait, new emoticons! This definetely is worth upgrading!
Fast forward to today. 10 bi-weekly builds later Skype for Linux Alpha 1.10 now supports video calling. But only between users of this particular build. This is not funny anymore, Skype.
I am a big fan of “release early, release often” philosophy. But to show product to users you first need to have MVP. And in this case it is easy video calling. Anything else makes absolutely no sense.
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