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Skype has released the final version of Skype 5.0 for the Mac, with support for multiparty video - at a price.

In the new version group video is only possible if at least one member of the party has subscribed to this premium service. However it is free for the first seven days after installing the new version. After that a day pass costs $US4.99, a monthly subscription $US8.99. Skype has also brought back full screen mode in video calls, at the click of a button and also provided one button access to chat during a call.

The latest version also features a number of changes to the user interface in response to feedback from beta users.

Writing on Skype's official blog, Skype for Mac product manager, Krishna Paniker, said: "As a result of [user] feedback, we've been able to make a number of improvements in the latest version'¦Something we heard loud and clear was that you felt that the app was too big - whether it was the window size, contact list, or the way instant messages were displayed.

At the time of writing Skype had failed to update the download page linked to from Paniker's blog to reflect the correct name. It still said "Skype 2.8 for Mac." However the version that downloads is the latest, Version 5.0.0.0.7980. Accessing a Mac download by a differerent route through the site gives this page which names the new version correctly.

Paniker said: "The good news is that we've slimmed things down a bit in the new version, trimming pixels and realigning things to make the app altogether more compact. We've reduced the minimum window size, so that those of you who prefer to keep Skype to one side of your screen, for example, can do that more easily.

"We've also tightened up the contact list, so that you can see 30 percent more contacts at once. We've reduced the amount of whitespace in the sidebar too. In addition, we've tweaked the way instant messages are displayed to reduce the amount of whitespace, allowing you to see more of your conversations without scrolling."

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Stuart Corner

 

Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.

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