Microsoft has announced plans to retire their Skype Classic desktop program and replace it with the 8.0 updated version of the software for consumers.
This is the version of Skype that we have already seen roll out to Windows 7, 8.1, Android users plus the modern version of the app available in the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 devices. Previously, this desktop app update was blocked from being downloaded and installed by Windows 10 users.
The new desktop version of Skype is already available for download from the Skype support site or you can go into the Skype Classic programs Help menu and check for updates.
If you are already running Skype Version 8.0 on another device, then this UI will look very familiar and is based on a complete rework of the underlying program to take advantage of the new Skype infrastructure Microsoft has been working on deploying over the last few years.
This update to Skype on Windows 10 includes the following features:
- Free HD video and screen sharing calls for up to 24 participants
- Improved messaging including @mentions
- Chat media gallery provides easy access to links, photos and files you shared in a discussion
- Share photos, videos and other files that are up to 300MB in size with drag and drop support
In addition to the current feature set, Microsoft has some plans for adding to the apps capability later this year:
- Skype Version 8.0 for iPad
- Read receipts for messages
- Private conversations that are encrypted end to end using the Signal protocol
- Call recording (Podcasters rejoice!)
- Profile invites
- Group links to bring together a larger group on Skype for a chat, video or audio call
This update will align all of Microsoft’s current Skype versions for consumers across all platforms except for iPad which is expected this summer as mentioned above. On the commercial customer side, Skype for Business is being integrated with Microsoft Teams and will likely see that app deprecated once that transition is complete.
I know a lot of users do not like Skype for a variety of reasons but I think version 8.0 , with its complete re-work to support the infrastructure updates that have been put in place, might just be the refresh Skype needs to kick-start a resurgence.
Skype Classic will be retired on 01 September 2018.
Skype Desktop Version 8 Setup Screenshots Gallery