“We rolled up our sleeves and reconsidered the heart of the Skype for Linux client,” the company say of the release, adding: “We’re very excited about the results and think that you will be too.”
‘Excited’ may be overstating it a little.
Skype 4,2 for Linux is largely a bug fix release aimed at improving the general stability of the application, its use with Microsoft Accounts (MSN merged into Skype a while back), and fixing a few well-documented faults introduced in the previous release.
These fixes range from the trivial: larger app icons; localizing prices in Skype WiFi prompts; to the much needed: crash fixes; navigation fixes; not showing features where they can’t be used.
Improvements to existing functionality also feature in the update:
The latest release of Skype can be downloaded from the Skype website. Hit the link below to go there. Select the ‘Ubuntu 12.04 Multiarch’ option before downloading. Despite the ’12.04′ in the name this will also install just fine on Ubuntu 12.10.
Skype advise 64bit Ubuntu users suffering from audio issues to also install the libasound2-plugins:i386 package.
Kingsoft Office for Linux has been updated with an improved theme, new icons and improved file support.
The entire suite of applications are still in active development on Linux, but the makers, Chinese software outfit Kingsoft, are said to be pushing hard on development following the news that Ubuntu-based distro ‘Ubuntu Kylin’ was to become the ‘official OS of China’.
And this work is showing in the latest preview builds. The interface of each application has been refreshed, with a new look called ’Ongmani’ now default. Other themes are available, including the Windows Aero theme used by previous builds.
The icons have also been changed, no-longer looking like they were lifted straight from the Windows desktop. This subtle ‘de-Windows-izing’ of each application extends to various parts of the ‘Ribbon’.
A language selection prompt has been added on first-run. This fixes the biggest issue many non-Chinese users had with previous builds which required a hacky workaround to enable English.
You can download the latest development release of WPS Office below. Note that the .deb installer below is for 32bit Ubuntu but it can be installed on 64bit using ia32-libs.