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Skype 4.0 Beta promises Better Video Experience, Simpler User Interface

Skype has released a beta of the fourth version of its popular eponymous Voice over IP application; Skype 4.0 is a radical departure from the current Skype interface with more emphasis on Video.

Video, which represents about 28 percent of Skype Calls worldwide, will be the single biggest improvement although other features - like the ability to make calls, sending files - have been improved.

This version also allows Skype users to send money via Paypal account, another Ebay branch.

The 24MB download brings in a much wider interface, something that could anger Skypers who are used to a slimmer version of the application.

Early testing shows that this version of Skype consumes more memory compared to the previous one and there's a nagging bug which shows users as being out of credit even if there's money in the user's account.

Skype 4.0 Beta is currently available for the Windows Platform only - no Linux users or Mac, although that should come fairly soon.

The Ebay-owned company has grown to a massive internet communication network with more than 300 million registered members in five years.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.