Skype 6.2 Adds New Toolbar And eGifting

 Posted by on February 14, 2013  News
Feb 142013
 

Microsoft have released updates to Skype – version 6.2 for Windows includes a new toolbar and eGifting.

[Skype 6.2 for Macs adds eGifting and the ability to send one-way SMS without having to add and verify your mobile number]

Fortunately the new toolbar is within Skype itself, it’s not a browser toolbar – there’s enough crapware in the Skype installation process already, with pre-selected stuff like the Bing search engine, MSN homepage and Click To Call…

No, the new toolbar is a re-design of the top toolbar in Skype and provides a central location for access to Home, Calling Phones, Creating Groups and Adding Contacts as shown below:

skype6.2

New toolbar

eGifting is the other key new feature – it lets you send a gift of Skype credit to anyone on their birthday. When you get a birthday notification for them, there is a link to buy a birthday Skype Gift Card for them:

skype6.2b

Leaving aside the question of whether the receiver will appreciate a Skype gift card as a present, this feature relies on your contact having set up their birth date in their Skype account profile – for security reasons that’s not a good idea as birth date is such an important piece of your identity jigsaw…

Tip: you can still buy someone a Skype Credit gift card at any time from the Skype Chat and Vision site here.

Other changes in Skype 6.2 for Windows include an option to send an IM via a Ctrl + Enter keyboard shortcut and computers with Intel Pentium 3 or similar CPU’s are not supported anymore (if they do not support SSE2 instructions). This shouldn’t affect many people as the last Pentium 3 chip made its debut in 2001 – if your PC is 12+ years old it’s really time to upgrade to a newer model anyway.

Finally, some minor issues have been fixed – full details are available in the Skype blog post here. [The blog post for Macs is here.]

Download Skype 6.2 – The new version of Skype for Windows is 6.2.0.106. Existing users can check for the update within Skype from Help \ Check for Updates.

Or you can download the full setup program from the usual location for Windows here.

Conclusion

The fixes and new toolbar are worthwhile changes but I wonder how necessary the in-Skype eGifting feature is. If the reminder only pops up on someone’s birthday isn’t it as good as telling them that you forgot to buy something in advance?

The concept itself seems a little weird too – as you’re both on Skype you can talk to each other for free anyway so you’re really buying them credit to talk to someone else? What do you think – let us know in the comments.

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