New Skype Beta 2.8

There's a new version of Skype that's available for download on Skype's webpage, a beta version 2.8. for the Mac OS X only. While most things have stayed the same, there's been a cosmetic facelift for the interface, with a more edgy, brushed-aluminum scheme, and redesigned buttons on the chat window. Overall, it gives Skype a more polished, "cooler" look, not that there was anything wrong with the previous one.

However, the most notable new feature on this beta is a "share" feature, which allows users to share their desktops with whomever they are talking to. Users can chose to either share parts of their computer screen, or the whole thing, and a separate window will pop up on their correspondent's side, where they can see everything the other person is doing on their computer.

Trying it out with a friend, we were able to view each other's desktop simultaneously with little noticeable lag in the screens, although there were some. This can be extremely useful for sharing information that's not easily screen-captured or written out, such as how-to's and tutorials. Suppose you were trying to teach a friend how to install a program on their computer.

Instead of going over to their house, you can boot up Skype, share your screen with them, and show them how to do it on your own computer, while they watch. On the flip side, users should be aware and remember when they are sharing screens, lest you accidently share unwanted information with the other person.

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