Skype for Windows 8 gets slick makeover
Oct. 22, 2012 at 3:17 PM ET
Skype's home screen in Windows 8.
Even if you're not yet enthusiastic about Windows 8, Skype's makeover for Microsoft's new operating system should please you, especially if you use the video calling service a lot. It's based on a "new full-screen immersive and uncluttered Skype experience" that is clean and quick.
Microsoft bought Skype last year, and the program is used by 40 million people during peak times, Skype says.
Bringing "the people and messages that matter most to you at the heart of our new experience," writes Mark Gillett, Skype's chief development and operations officer, on the company's blog.
Among the new features in Windows 8:
- Recent chat messages and calls "are right there as you launch Skype alongside the people that you contact most often. We've made it simple and easy to add your favorite contacts so that they are only one tap or click away. "
- This may not be a good thing, depending on how easily accessible you want to be but "you can be always available and reachable whether you are using a desktop, laptop, tablet or convertible PC with Skype running seamlessly in the background without draining your battery."
- You can receive voice, video calls and chats "even if you've navigated away to another app or to the desktop, enabling you to stay more connected with your contacts whatever you're doing."
- Skype will also notify you about any new calls or instant messages.
- Once Skype is downloaded from the Windows Store, it will appear on the new Start screen as a "live tile." That same tile provides a window into the app, and will show you "if you hae missed a call or have a new message waiting for you inside."
You'll also be able to "snap" Skype side-by-side (shown here) with other Windows 8 apps, such as maps.
Snapping Skype allows you to browse the Web, photos or use maps while chatting with friends or family," Gillett wrote.
Below is Skype's video about its Windows 8 version:
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