While group video calls are the primary highlight for most Skype users, business users may be especially interested in the group screen sharing. This feature will help to make office collaboration, customer support and quick conferencing even easier and much more convenient by allowing several people to view a user’s screen at once.
The new Skype 5.2 client for Mac is free (as is the latest Windows 5.5 Skype beta client), however to make group calls one member in the conversation must have paid for a premium Skype subscription (currently retailing at € 5,99 per month). It’s also possible to get a 7-day free trial of the premium subscription or to buy a day pass (currently retailing at € 3,49). All users of a group video chat need to be using the Skype 5.0+ client.
Advanced users can also make use of some new usability features, such as marking messages as unread with shortcuts and switching conversations using the trackpad.
The call control bar is the most anticipated of all the new features, as it allows users to continue working while maintaining video contact and quick access to basic call functions.
This announcement closely follows recent news of a Skype client for Android 2.1+ which now allows users to make video calls.