Skype gets newer look for Windows 8, and stays awake while you sleep

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With the advent of Windows 8 and the completely new look it has received, many are somewhat sceptical. But at the same time Skype has decided to change its look for the new OS with a “new full-screen immersive and uncluttered Skype experience” that should please, especially if you use the video calling feature a lot.

Mark Gillett, Skype’s chief development and operations officer, writes on the company’s blog that bringing “the people and messages that matter most to you [is] at the heart of our new experience”. Skype was bought by Microsoft last year, and has over 40-million concurrent users at its peak times.

The most relevant changes for the new Windows OS are:

  • Chat messages and calls “are right there as you launch Skype alongside the people who you contact most often. We’ve made it simple and easy to add your favourite contacts so that they are only one tap or click away”
  • Even though this might not seem like a good thing “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.”
  • Video calls and voice and chats can be received “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.”
  • You will also be notified about any new calls or instant messages.
  • On the new Windows 8, Skype will appear on the start screen as a “live tile.” That tile will be like a window into the app, and will show the usual information “if you have missed a call or have a new message waiting for you inside.”

Skype will also now have the ability to snap to other apps, allowing you to browse the web while still engaging in a chat. What is a major upgrade however is the ability to now run in the background and still be able to receive calls and messages, without draining battery life. On a desktop PC, it does not matter that much, but on a mobile device or laptop, it has been known to eat battery power.

The Silicon Valley company also said, “Skype for Windows 8 is almost here and we are incredibly excited by this important new version of Skype. This is our big step forward together with Microsoft to introduce a completely new Skype experience, which is designed to be always on, immersive, effortless and fun to use. The team at Skype has been building on the Windows platform since the first release of Skype. With Skype for Windows 8 we’ve focused on how people are using Skype today, and re-imagined Skype for everyday communications across our global community.”

This newer version of Skype for Windows 8 will be available from 26 October on Windows 8 Devices and for download from the Windows Store.

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