Skype for Windows 5.2: Subtle Window Dressings II–“Text Tone” Dialing

A couple of days ago I wrote about some new Call Bar features in the recently released Skype for Windows 5.2. But there was one other feature that I have investigated …

  • Modified call phones dialog with integrated contact number search

It’s not huge but makes calling the PSTN easier if a Contact has PSTN numbers embedded in either his/her Skype profile or you have entered into a Contact’s profile via the “Add a Number” feature in the Call Bar.

To call a PSTN number a call has to be placed via the image menu which brings up a traditional T9 dial pad in the Conversation pane. Previously one could enter a number and make a call; the default was to make calls to your local country code but one could also change the country selected. (Click the drop down to change the flag.)

CallPhilWolff.S4w5_2With Skype for Windows 5.2 one can now start to type in a Contact’s name and place a call.  In Phil’s case on the right the options are his Mobile, Office and U.K. Skype Online number (Home). Select a number, click on the Call Button and the call is initiated.

One other subtle change: there are now several opportunities to Save a PSTN number that is not already embedded in your Contacts. In this case one can save the number prior to the call; however, at the end of a call there is also an opportunity to Save the number called.

Bottom line: Subtly Skype is generating more awareness of its PSTN calling options. Between the Call Bar changes in my previous post, the “Text Tone” feature described here and the opportunity to add numbers to a Contact’s profile on your local PC, Skype is attempting to increase what, to date, has been its largest revenue generator (according to recent SEC releases).

(Note that it’s not a true T9 dialpad, you have to enter alpha characters via your PC keyboard, pressing a number one, two, three or four times does not generate the relevant alpha character in the number bar. Yet, Skype does show the alpha characters in the dialpad; it’s the familiar user interface, after all.)

About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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