Skype 5.0 is officially out of beta and -- as expected -- it deeply integrates with Facebook using the social network's Connect feature. An updated interface will let users see their Facebook News Feed, update their status, and like and comment on posts directly all within a dedicated tab on the VoIP client. More interestingly though, you’ll be able to quickly call or text friends on their landlines and mobile phones (standard rates apply) or for free to their Skype account if they have it listed.
The new version also introduces a more refined interface that should make it more intuitive to use existing Skype features like screen sharing and video calling, which has been upgraded to support up to 10 simultaneous users. An automatic call-recovery feature that reconnects dropped calls and better overall call quality are also part of the update.
Unfortunately for Apple users this is a Windows-only affair for now. The company has confirmed a Mac version is on its way, but gave no specific timing other than ‘before the end of the year.’ It’ll be interesting to see where the company goes from here, specifically if some kind of mobile implementation of these new features is planned down the line.