Skype 1.4 Beta for Linux was updated recently. This release does not add any larger new features but does add small improvements and a lot of bugfixes.
The fact that the Beta update does not introduce new big features (but still quite a lot)is in so far a good sign that it shows how the 1.4 branch of Skype for Linux now matures. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next release would be the stable version already.
And this means that the development for the next veresion of Skype – which likely will feature Video support – can be started/intensified. And it was already mentioned that the time between 1.4 and the next major version will not be as long as between 1.3 and 1.4. The most time consuming part fo work, the port to Qt4, is done by now, and with a bit of luck the introduction of video will not take that much time.
Speaking about the speed of development: there are only two months between this stable and usable Beta version and the not-that-usable Alpha version.
As a side note this version also comes in “proper” binaries for OpenSuse and Mandriva.
I must admit that it really feels like Skype puts more effort into the Linux version these days, and that’s a good sign.