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Communications Desktops (Apple) Upgrades Apple

Skype Forcing Mac Users To Upgrade Client 250

mijkal writes "Nevermind a huge outcry over the iTunes-like behemoth of Skype v5 for Mac. Users with v2.8 are being pushed an update to v5 regardless of update preferences. I even restored v2.8 from TimeMachine only to have it update itself again within minutes, offering only an option to relaunch the app."
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Skype Forcing Mac Users To Upgrade Client

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  • I think SIP, XMPP, and Asterisk are about to get a huge boost.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )
      What use are SIP and XMPP if all your contacts are on Skype?
      • What use are SIP and XMPP if all your contacts are on Skype?

        What use is having all your contacts in Skype, if Microsoft doesn't let you access it anymore?

        • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

          I have already removed Skype from all family computers, and will be performing a complete re-install on all affected machines. I took the time, to copy off important contacts, and will be moving to asterisk. I suggest you do the same.

          - Dan.

        • Microsoft doesn't own it yet. This is all Skype.

      • What use is a phone call... if you're unable to speak?

    • No, they won't. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They are a pain in the ass for average users to install, configure, and use. Skype isn't. That's why Skype succeeded in becoming wildly popular, and those half-assed alternatives haven't.

      Seriously, Jabber alone is one of the biggest OSS failures we've ever seen, behind maybe only Diaspora. It got a huge amount of hype and attention, but could never make anything of it. Sure, there are a small number of companies that use it internally, but it has never really progressed beyond that. It has never gone mainst

      • Hmm indeed. SIP is complex to get running. Accurate criticism. SIPbroker, even more complex. It's still mainly in the domain of techies and PBX admins.

      • Re:No, they won't. (Score:4, Informative)

        by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday June 20, 2011 @09:14PM (#36508158) Journal

        Seriously, Jabber alone is one of the biggest OSS failures we've ever seen, behind maybe only Diaspora. It got a huge amount of hype and attention, but could never make anything of it. Sure, there are a small number of companies that use it internally, but it has never really progressed beyond that. It has never gone mainstream in any measurable way.

        Have you seen this little thing called "Facebook Chat"?

        I wouldn't call Google Talk a failure, either. Especially given that it is the default IM app on all Android phones (and, starting with 2.3.4, also the default voice/video chat app).

        • FIRST OF ALL: I'm not saying XMPP/Jabber is a failure. However...

          Google Talk? Really? Just because it's installed by default does not mean it is popular. When I look at everyone I know they running: MSN Messenger (most), Skype (a lot), Facebook chat (also most), IRC (a few), ICQ (just a few who refuse to let go). Google Talk? No one I know is using it.

          Now, this is of course anecdotal but I do have friends in other places than just where I live, across Europe, Canada, the US, Australia. And no one is using G

          • by bucky0 ( 229117 )

            The plural of "anecdote" isn't "data". Pretty much my entire group of friends has moved from every other network to almost gchat exclusively.

            Without some actual numbers, we're just guessing.

            • The plural of "anecdote" isn't "data".

              Actually, it is, but it takes a lot more anecdotes than this.

      • by Korin43 ( 881732 )

        Seriously, Jabber alone is one of the biggest OSS failures we've ever seen, behind maybe only Diaspora.

        Yeah seriously. Maybe it would do better if someone big like Google or Facebook got behind it..

        • Sorry, but Google and Facebook might be using the jabber protocol, but it still does not mean success. Gtalk or the facebook chat is nowhere near as sophisticated for near social networks communications. By near I mean near as in near friends not distance. There are many more things that I can do with SKYPE than either of those products. So yeah they are a failure because they are half-backed...

      • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

        Which is why most serious gamers have taken the time and energy not only to install it for their use, but written and configured complex authentication mechanisms for it as well. Just because something doesn't swim past your armchair doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

        - Dan.

    • I've been using a skype text conference as an invite-only chat room for some of my online friends. Why not IRC? Because skype keeps track of all history and logs so you don't have to idle in the room 24/7 to see what people said when you were away. I have found nothing as convenient and suitable to our purposes. Now, I'm starting to worry about the future. Does anyone have a suggestion for a different system?
    • You can do one of two things:
      - Find the temp folder where Skype downloads its new copy, find out what name it gives the file, and replace it with a 2.8 version, then remove wheel rights so it can't replace it
      - adjust your hosts file so that Skype can't auto-update. Unfortunately I don't know what the updater connects to.. time to dust off your favorite network scanning apps.

      On the side, I think we all would do well to keep bombing Skype support with mails that we see abolsutely no reason to switch to the bl

  • I've had this happen to me with a version of Skype for Windows. I know I set it to not autoupdate, but that was worth fuck-all, apparently. The old Skype was tons more configurable and worked better - for me - than any of the newer versions.

  • Not for me (Score:5, Informative)

    by bucky0 ( 229117 ) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:40PM (#36507388)

    I quit, restarted and even did check for updates. It didn't force me to do upgrade. *shrug*

  • So does this mean PPC Mac users are now cut off?

    • I would think so. Kind of sad considering apple still officially supports both G4 and G5 systems.
  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dynedain ( 141758 ) <slashdot2@anthon ... m ['in.' in gap]> on Monday June 20, 2011 @08:10PM (#36507642) Homepage

    Plenty of Apps that require connectivity to online networks force updates from time to time. Guess what? Steam had a required update?!?!? Blizzard forced users to run updates to continue using World of Warcraft?!!! Oh noes!

    Seriously. I get that there is massive FUD now that Microsoft has bought out Skype, but that doesn't mean every single bit of normal behavior (like locking out and forcing updates on old versions of clients) is somehow a malicious news-worthy event in some grand conspiracy.

    • by Nimey ( 114278 )

      Yes, this. I get that the OP doesn't like the new interface or something, but this is quite prevalent.

    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by yarnosh ( 2055818 ) on Monday June 20, 2011 @08:17PM (#36507698)
      No conspiracy. Skype 5.x just blows.
      • No conspiracy. Skype 5.x just blows.

        Is that good or bad? Or deliberately ambiguous?
        It sounds like the opposite of "Skype 5.x just sucks", so now I'm confused.

        • by davesag ( 140186 )

          "blows" as in will get down on its knees and put the penises of strangers in its mouth, and not even ask for money. It's another way of saying "sucks", proving yet again the versatility of the English language

    • The difference is that, not that long ago, the Skype execs responded to the outcry over the new version with a reinstating of the previous version and allowing it to run without any issues. Now with the Microsoft takeover announced, the position has been reversed, hence the consternation.

      • Well they can just cry and moan about it and we can move on. I have absolutely no idea what skype is like these days (stopped using it so many years ago) but you can't expect to use an old version forever. Even if they did reinstate it, there will come a time where it has to go. It just didn't have to go yet. And even if the forced change isn't entirely necessary then so what? People will just have to learn to deal.

        I remember the older versions of uTorrent, and wish so much that I could use them. But since

    • by tgd ( 2822 )

      I get that there is massive FUD now that Microsoft has bought out Skype, but that doesn't mean every single bit of normal behavior (like locking out and forcing updates on old versions of clients) is somehow a malicious news-worthy event in some grand conspiracy.

      Fox News for Nerds. Stuff that matters to advertisers.

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      It's not so much about the policy of auto-updating. It's that Skype 5 for Mac is, to my knowledge, universally loathed compared to the previous release.

      Skype took a clean and coherent interface, tossed it out the window, and replaced it with an incoherent, messy, ugly, and user-hostile interface. The only thing that can make it worse is red flashing text. I may only be an engineer with the design taste of a manure pile, but the new Mac interface for Skype makes me gag.

      That's pretty much the entire reason f

    • by davesag ( 140186 )

      The upgrade from 2.8x to 5.x sucks because it's a dreadful update that take up vastly more screen space with its UI, disables some of the old skype's cooler features like being able to screen share only parts of your screen — we use this a lot at work — and a lot of the old drop-and -drag funtionality is no gone, making it much harder to do common things. It's one of the very very few times I have ever downgraded a piece of software (yay for time machine) and, while it does ask me about once pe

    • by aralin ( 107264 )

      I run skype v5 on Mac. And after few months I could not take it anymore and downgraded to v2.8. If they force me onto v5 in any way, I will stop using skype rather than suffer through that piece of crapware.

  • I've been using Skype video conferencing for the past 5 years to take an online Spanish class, and for the past several months it has been terrible. There have been many instances of dropped calls, degraded call quality, frozen video, etc. Throw in the v5 UI fiasco and it was time for a change.

    A few weeks ago we started trying alternatives (MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, and a few others) and finally settled on ooVoo [http://www.oovoo.com], which is not a perfect replacement, but works much better tha

    • Eh, ooVoo is a shareware client that hides all the good features for paid users. Plus the annoying ads if you don't pay are unusually annoying.
  • There is "Skip this version" button for me? What's the matter?

    • by Malc ( 1751 )

      Mountain: meet molehill (or, Slashdot: meet tabloid newspaper. This story to be filed with the recent .Net developer hyperbole)

      Skype 2.8 on my Mac is showing a dialog offering the choices of: Later/Skip Version/Update.

      It seems that it is in everybody's interest for Skype auto update, just because they can't write bug-free software. They were taken offline in December [bbc.co.uk] by a buggy version of the client on Windows.

      I'm going to be hitting the Update button on that dialog BTW.

  • Did you consider that old versions of Skype contain vulnerabilities? So how is this much different than Google pushing out Chrome updates that fix vulnerabilities?

    • by jimicus ( 737525 )

      Google Chrome generally does not assume that you love the application so much you want to see it covering as much of the screen as possible; Skype 5 does.

  • by dindi ( 78034 ) on Monday June 20, 2011 @08:40PM (#36507884)

    I do not mind a new version to fix issues. My only pain with it is that some companies force new interfaces on you, sometimes completely ignoring their previous interface's logic. Skype did that to us and every single person I talk to hates the new interface with a passion. When a group of programmers keep wondering for minutes how to switch to chat, how to conference someone in, or why you have new little icons without/instead of text, I cannot imagine what your grandma/grandpa does when this happens. It took them significant time to figure the original out, now they have to re-learn it.

    Now with MS as the owner I fear worst. Why ? Well I am not a regular Word/Excel user. I used Openoffice (before it became a slow bloat), then switched to Apple's Pages/Numbers. Both work fine for my needs (I am not a DTP guy, at most I create technical documents for users/techs). Where I work we can get MS Office for free, and I bought a $10 copy for home too.... Then the horror came: EVERYTHING changed since the last time I used the product. Everything I learned/got used to suddenly was hidden inside menus, buttons, drop-downs and sometimes super simple tasks needed excessive clicking. MS does this kind of stuff regularly: with their OS and with their other products. I just simply hate it.

    The point here is not to bash MS and Skype for innovating, nor the upgrades (would be nice if I did not have to buy Office every 2 years to read the idiotic new format they invented to make me buy it again though). Companies should provide a way to use their software in a "minimal/simple" mode - IMO 99% of Word/Excel users - including techs/admins/engineers - would only need this mode. Also when you "innovate" keep an option to keep a function in the menu where it was. No one - I repeat: NO ONE - wants to keep re-mapping their brain to remember new locations in 10+ different software every single year.

    Impossible? With menus, you just need menu NEW and menu OLD, and just put the same crap in one where you had it and where you think it should be now. Maybe allow the user to publish which menu they use and make better decisions about changing stuff around in every release.

    But then again, maybe all the changes make people think that they have a new and enhanced product? I see the same crap in a new potty with new buttons on it year after year and maybe I am too old to put up with it...

    • would be nice if I did not have to buy Office every 2 years to read the idiotic new format they invented to make me buy it again though

      You don't have to. Any version of Office released in the last 8 years can be made to read (and write) files produced by any later version - you may need to download an add-on to do so in case of 2003, but it's free.

      • by dindi ( 78034 )

        OH :) OK. Good info. I honestly did not know this, as I was using other products (Pages, OO, textedit, vi :) )

      • Also, the new formats are far better in terms of being able to convert/import/export
  • An Update On Skype For Mac [skype.com]

    April 1

    77 replies, the last posted April 16.

    Download.com alone has logged over 400,000 downloads of Skype 5.1for the Mac since May 27. Skype for Mac [cnet.com]

    FaceTime is a 13 MB download, Skype 20 MB.
    Close enough.

    Skype is a VoIP or the masses.The client will be shaped by their needs and not yours. That is the price you pay for being able to call out to 700 million users.

  • Skype has always auto-dated for me. It's been doing that for years. Never found a way to turn that off, either -- not that it really bothers me.

    • by poity ( 465672 )

      Actually, I wasn't entirely correct there, sorry. I just run the old install file I have from 2007, and it gets the newest version. No now when I run the program, though. Ignore that post in any case. Sorry

  • would stop.....and now people are complaining that they are being forced to accept a change (like many such internet service based apps).

    I get being concerned about MS dropping support for smaller OS's (although it doesnt make a lot of business sense). But overreacting to everything that happens at Skype like we have seen in the last month is just silly.

  • They have been churning versions out for Windows quite a bit now. They are trying to get everyone on updated code it seems and I bet it has something to do with all of the folks publishing information on how to access their infrastructure. I won't be surprised if they turn a switch and block all of those folks here soon....

  • I reverted from 5.0 to 2.8 because 5.0's DTMF implementation is horribly fucking broken and shitty. It fails consistently if somewhat randomly (that is, I can't predict _when_ in a call it will be broken, but I can predict that it _will_ be broken), and they fall back on some sort of dopey standards excuse. Alls I knows is, before the upgrade DTMF worked with any voicemail/conferencing/phonetree system I dialed with 2.8 but failed almost always at some point using 5.0. They need to digitize a PCM sample

  • I get a choice when I log in: not now, skip, or upgrade - just like every other app I have. Not a problem here...
    • Agreed. Story seems to not only be demonstrably false, but unsubstantiated-- there's no external source that verifies the author's claim, just a link to the separate (but related) furor about Skype 5's terrible interface (which is terrible).

      So one guy has his Skype glitch on him, and it makes the frontpage of Slashdot? What gives?

      The second this happens to my copy of Skype 2.8 I'll be screaming bloody blue murder, but I'd expect someone to verify the same is happening to others before calling it news, or so

  • Ain't Apple users used to being forced to do what the maker of software wants to?

    • There's a difference between good changes and bad changes. Apple progressively adds new features and niceties, and rarely forces a feature on you that you don't want to use. With Skype, we're being forced to "upgrade" to a new interface that is less intuitive, takes longer to use even when you're used to it, and takes up far more space. And they did it after they even made the old version available again for download as a result of the initial outcry. Talk about mixed signals.

      I've already been dissatisfied

    • by dafing ( 753481 )
      Apple software generally gets *better*, seriously, this current version of Skype for Mac is a bloody nightmare...I cohost podcast shows, while sounding incredibly pompous, Skype is an essential part of our "workflow", how the Call Recorder recording plugin ties in with the Skype application, general setting up calls etc, its important stuff.

      And the latest versions of Skype have RUINED everything! :-) Simple things are now incredibly irritating, for example, when someone sends you a Skype message, instea
  • When Microsoft took over, people complained that non-MS platforms would stop getting updates. Now that updates are released (which is more than the original skype did in the last few years!), that's a problem too?

    Personally I'm hoping that this is a sign that Linux support is on the way too...

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly