New Skype Version Released – But Well Hidden

Skype have released two updated versions of its popular free phone and video calling software – version (which they don’t seem too keen on you getting!) and version The former is a new update to Skype 5.6 and the latter is for Skype 5.5 but both these new versions include the same updates as follows:

  • Fixed issue with the Skype Click-to-Call plugin – this had caused a memory leak in Firefox, leading to crashes and error messages.
  • Fixed issue with Skype sometimes crashing at startup on Windows 8 (considering Windows 8 won’t be officially released for up to 12 months it is good of Skype’s developers to bother with it!).
  • Removed Google product bundling – previously, Google products were included as an ‘option’ during Skype’s installation. Now that Microsoft own Skype it’s not surprising they are removing such free advertizing for their competitor. And it clears the way for Microsoft to start bundling their own products in Skype – perhaps in future they’ll include Bing as an optional ‘feature’? Shiver…
  • Added attribution of used third party software – now acknowledges third party software used in Skype which is only fair.

Getting the latest version is easier said than done. Skype’s downloads are weirdly different depending on where you get them from. If you already have Skype 5.5 and check for updates you may receive an upgrade to, not 5.6. Likewise, if you download the full offline installer version of Skype from (which is the link we usually give) you again get the older, not 5.6

The standard online web installer at only provides too…

The only place we found on Skype’s website to download the new Skype 5.6 update is – click this link to download the full offline installer version of then close Skype and install this version to upgrade your existing Skype to the new

Why are Skype offering different versions to different people?

According to Skype Support it is to ‘compare user behavior’. Presumably they want to see how people react to each version (like the champion/challenger modelling used in financial scoring systems) but this is odd – usually this sort of consumer testing would have been done long ago at beta testing stage, not after both versions have been released live…

Upgrade To Skype 5.6 or Stick With 5.5?

Here’s a reminder of the new features that were added in Skype 5.6

  • Screen sharing improvements
  • New ‘getting started’ experience
  • Small changes to the call controls
  • The ‘Call Phones’ button has been moved
  • Updated ‘Click to Call’ browser plugins
  • In call advertising
  • ‘Skype Home’ UI improvements in compact mode

For now, you can just upgrade to if you like but it is likely that 5.6 will take over in the near future.

2 Responses to: "New Skype Version Released – But Well Hidden"

  1. Adel Hakim says:

    Yeah, that’s what you get when Microsoft put it’s hands into something, every thing gets f****d up and you start to lose your mind !

    Skype made a huge mistake selling it’s software to a company like Microsoft.

    • admin says:

      Not sure how much MS have really got involved in Skype yet but the changes to include in call advertizing don’t bode well – but probably inevitable for a free service…