In the announcement of the
latest beta version of Skype 5.0 for Windows, the main attention was drawn to the possibility of increasing the number of users of video conferencing as well as new software interface.
My attention was drawn much more by this line from the official press release:
- Offline instant messaging support
, in Russian speaking - support for offline messages
Let me remind you that the inability to send messages offline and to be sure that it will be delivered, Skype has always been put in the negative when compared with other IM clients. Actually, this state of affairs has always been explained by the very architecture of the Skype network, using Peer-to-Peer technology, which requires both sides of the conversation to be present on any network.
At the dawn of Skype, the program in principle did not allow sending messages to the other person offline. Later, it became possible to send offline messages, but the interlocutor could only read them when the recipient and the sender of the message appeared on the network at the same time. This situation, as well as the principle of not using Skype servers to store any data on correspondence, has persisted until today. And now, this inconspicuous line in the Change History tells us that everything has changed. In essence, this means nothing more than a partial rejection of Peer-to-Peer.
Since there is no detailed information about the new function, several questions arise:
1. How long has a message been stored on the Skype server since it was sent?
2. Are all messages of users, including online correspondence, stored on the server?
3. If the correspondence gets on the Skype server, how long is it stored and is it possible for the user to access it?
Of course, here the question arises of data security and the possible access to them by third parties.
By the way, I checked the possibility of sending offline messages in the last beta. It really works. To do this, I sent a message to one of my alternate accounts, after which I left the main one and, having entered the substitute one, received my own message.
Also, a new feature touched the possibility of transferring the history of the last conversation when you log into your Skype account from another computer. Previously, you could get the last conversation history only if the other person is online. Now, coming home from work, and entering Skype, you will receive the entire history of recent correspondence, even with those interlocutors who are not online. Be careful, especially those who have wives at home;)