That’s right. Skype 4.3 for Linux is out. Nearly 3 years since its purchase of the leading Internet voice and video calling service, Microsoft is still providing updates for the open source operating system.
I continue to be amazed that Microsoft, unlike, say, Adobe, has continued development of a Linux client. It’s really quite a remarkable departure from Redmond’s usual stance towards our rival desktop. Undoubtedly all those paid subscriptions to the service by Linux users has something to do with it, but I’d be willing to bet that Microsoft’s mutual support pact with Red Hat is a big part of the story.
Notably the latest Skype packages for Linux include a Red Hat/Fedora rpm, albeit 32-bit only. Skype competitors like Viber have all but locked out rpm based Linux desktops from their services by only offering Ubuntu/Debian packages. In addition to Red Hat, Skype also offers SuSE rpm packages, as well as a generic dynamically linked binary in a tarball (which is the basis of FreeBSD’s port of the software).