Microsoft releases Skype 4.3 update for Linux

In today's open source roundup: Microsoft's Skype for Linux updated to version 4.3. Plus: Seven great PC games come to Linux, and a Linux gamer shares his Steam game collection

By , ITworld |  Open Source, Linux, Steam

There's never been any love lost between Microsoft and Linux users. When Microsoft acquired Skype many predicted that Linux would no longer be supported. But Microsoft has just released an update to Skype for Linux that might make some users happy.

According to Betanews:

Linux users are not the most sociable bunch. Not only do I know many socially awkward and inept Linux nerds, but I am one myself. Still, every once in a while, a Linux nerd must communicate with family or friends and what better way to do that than video chat? Skype is one of the best options.

Microsoft touts the following changes:

An updated UI
Our new cloud-based Group Chat experience
More reliable file transfer support when using multiple devices at once
Greater accessibility by blind and visually impaired users
PulseAudio 3.0 and 4.0 support
Lots of bug fixes

More at Betanews

Skype for Linux
Image credit: Betanews

I'm glad to see Microsoft still supporting Skype for Linux. I fully understand that some Linux users are simply never going to use software associated with Microsoft, and that's fine. It's a perfectly valid choice to choose not to use Skype, but there are others that may find it a useful application. So I'm happy that they have the choice to use it if they want.

I do reject the idea that Linux users are a bunch of anti-social nerds though. I can understand the author trying to add a little personal color to the article, but I think it perpetuates an unfair and inaccurate stereotype of Linux users. It's not a huge deal but I would have preferred to read about Skype for Linux minus the stereotyping comments.

Seven prominent PC games come to Linux
PC World reports on seven well-known PC games that have come to Linux, and notes that Linux gaming is really hitting its stride as more and more games become available.

According to PC World:

For the first time in a long time, Linux gamers have a reason to smile. Gaming on the open-source operating system has long meant dabbling in Wine and arcane workarounds, but ever since Valve launched Steam for Linux just over a year ago the number of native Linux games has positively exploded.

Here are 7 killer, big-name PC games that've recently become Linux natives—starting with a juggernaut that landed on Linux just this week.

Civilization V
The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings
Metro: Last Light
Shadowrun Returns
Super Meat Boy
Portal 2 and other Valve games

More at PC World

PC Games Come to Linux
Image credit: PC World

Sometimes it's easy to forget how awful the gaming situation has been on Linux for many years. But then I read an article like this and it really puts all of the recent progress into perspective. I have to pinch myself to know I'm not dreaming that all of these games are making their way to Linux, and I think it's still very early days in Linux gaming. Imagine where we'll be five years from now.

A Linux gamer shares his Steam game collection
Tobias Linder, a Linux gamer on Google+, shared a screenshot of the games in his Steam collection today. As you can tell from the list, Linux gaming really has come a long way.

According to Tobias Linder on Google+:

This is what I saw when I logged into Steam on Linux today. My collection used to be like 10-11 games, and now it has grown substantionally. This is great news for someone like me who wants to take the leap to 100% linux, but can't because of my gaming hobby.

More at Tobias Linder

Linux Game Collection On Steam

Image credit: Tobias Linder on Google+

Wow! Tobias seems to be a pretty serious gamer! That screenshot really does underscore how many great games are already available in Linux. And that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the sheer number of games.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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