Last week I wrote a piece about if Skype could get its mojo back without eBay, and it appears that the popular Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider is wasting no time doing just that.
Skype announced a beta of its version 4.2 software last week, and two features are very much worth crowing about: Skype Access and call transfer.
Many businesses have been slowly making Skype their primary phone provider thanks to the addition of the Skype In service which allows you to connect a real world phone number to your Skype account. One of the major problems with this solution has been the lack of the ability to transfer the call to someone out in the field or even in the same office. Thanks to the new call transferring ability, you can now transfer the call to any other Skype account for free, or you can even transfer it to a land line or cell phone at the Skype Out call rates. Seeing as Skype offers unlimited minutes in some countries for the Skype Out service, this could end up being very reasonable for a small business.
Skype Access is a totally new feature that allows you to connect to over 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots at a rate of $.19 a minute. So, say you are in an airport and you just need to send an email or two, it has been cost prohibitive because you had to pay for one or two hours even if you only used 20 minutes. This service will allow you to pay only for the minutes you used directly out of your Skype account, so you won’t even have to worry about using your credit card in an unfamiliar environment.
To know if a Wi-Fi spot will accept Skype credit, you only need to bring up all the available networks in an area, choose one, and if it will accept it a message will pop up. If no message appears, simply try another one.
Skype 4.2 also added a new feature that will help you determine your signal strength to see if you are getting the best signal possible for your calls.
The new version is still in beta, but with these new features it definitely seems like its worth upgrading now. What are you waiting for?