First of all, I think that Skype is brilliant. Create a (more pervasive every day) platform to give voice away for free (i.e. VoIP) and at the same to build an ecosystem for value-add services. (Hmmm, sounds a lot like Google Desktop 2’s Sidebar, except that content in its multiple forms is the underlying medium and not voice.)
Just by coincidence I experienced a simple but highly usable flow that Skype provides during its installation.
Yesterday I leveraged Skype’s Help | Check for Update function to see if my version was current; it was not. So I downloaded 18.104.22.168, installed it at home and copied the installer to my USB drive for work. This morning I ran the 22.214.171.124 installer and instead of having the software installed straightaway, I was asked if I’d like to upgrade to a newer version. How brilliant is that? After saying yes, I was automatically taken to the literally just-released 126.96.36.199 installer, which commenced its download and subsequent run-to-install. And, of course, the installation performed a pain-free in-place upgrade from my previous version.
This extra step of checking (and not assuming or ignoring) for a new version of software to be installed is a great idea. I can see putting this into use especially during early, rapid iteration development. It’s one way to keep the team as current as possible with the evolving feature set, quality, performance, etc.
Thanks for the example, Skype!-Craig