Tuesday night the company will make available a test of a new version of the program, called Skype 4.0, which it says is the most dramatic redesign of the calling service in its short five-year history.
Josh Silverman, Skype’s president, says it was time to evolve Skype’s user interface. The service started out by offering free audio calls but has gradually added other kinds of communication, like video calls, file-sharing, and text chats. The main purpose of the upgrade, he said, is to bring all those modes together and make it easier to switch between them in a single conversation.
“If I were to sum it all up, that is what 4.0 is about: the next leap forward in integrated communications,” he said.