Skype 5 for Mac Goes Gold, Carries a Filthy Rich Price Tag
Confession: The VAR Guy loves Skype. He uses it all the time. He also happens to use a Mac, so the prospect of group video chat coming to the Mac was an exciting one. But now that Skype 5 for Mac has officially gone gold, The VAR Guy’s plans have hit a snag: Group video chat isn’t free, and it isn’t cheap, either. Here’s the low-down on the update.
Once upon a time, Skype Group Video Calling for Mac was free. That was way back when it was in beta. But now, with the new version, users will have to cough up a chunck of change for that échange à trois. Apparently, feedback on the Group Video Calling was so good, Skype figures users will want to pay for it.
So how much is it, you ask? Skype Group Video Calling is free for the first seven days, and then it’s $4.99 for a ‘day pass’ or a monthly subscription of $8.99 — perfect for those multi-video-chatting fiends out there.
Skype 5 is also a ‘slim and trim’ version, according to Skype, so the app doesn’t take up too much desktop real estate and utilizes the space is does inhabit more efficiently, especially in the contacts list and chat windows. Skype has also included a “give feedback” option inside the app, which the company promises to regularly view and take users’ thoughts into consideration as future versions roll out.
Well, The VAR Guy has some immediate feedback: Don’t charge for the service. It was free once before, and so it could be again. It’s a shame, really, since Oovoo offers three-way video chat for free.
What Skype either doesn’t understand — or does understand but just doesn’t care — is that most people who need to do three-way video chatting either need to do it all the time or hardly at all. The VAR Guy would be happy with an hourly rate of, say, $1 and a monthly rate of $4.99 — that seems much more reasonable.
Yes, $4.99 a day or $8.99 may seem like chump change at first blush. But really, who would use an entire day’s worth of video chatting? $4.99 seems like too much to ask for something that would most likely take no longer than a hour. Plus, with the Skype-related issues The VAR Guy has been having of late, our resident blogger can only hope all the extra cash Skype will rake in through these fees will solve its connectivity problems.