"Hot on the heels of 4.0", Skype has announced the beta version of Skype 4.1 for Windows has now arrived.

The new version of the VoIP software adds screen sharing - available for the Mac - and apparently a much requested feature.

Skype explains screen sharing as follows: "Have you ever tried to help a friend with their computer? Or take a colleague through a presentation? Or help a friend with their essay? Or show off a killer move in a game? Well, screen sharing in Skype makes doing things like that super-easy. Just click the Share menu in the conversation area of the Skype window".

4.1 lets you share your screen with any other Skype user on Windows, Mac or Linux with the ability to share your whole screen, or just a selection.

In addition to this nifty feature, there's also birthday reminders, and the return of the ability to send contacts to other Skype users.

In addition, 4.1 beta lets you import contacts from a range of other services including Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo!, AOL and LinkedIn.

With other refinements to audio and video call quality and bug fixes, the beta is available to download now.