Microsoft’s Skype 8.0 has launched on desktop nearly a year after the video-call platform’s redesign was met with mixed reviews. The company is moving forward with the new version, rolling out new features to the desktop version. Skype classic (version 7.0) will no longer function as of September 1, 2018.
With the new release, users gain access to new features, including screen-sharing in calls, HD video, chat media gallery, @mentions in chats, and media and file sharing (up to 300 MB). The new update does not include screen recording functionality – something users had been wanting. Users can still use third-party screen recorders, like Aiseesoft Screen Recorder, to capture video calls.
Microsoft does have plans to launch a built-in call recording function in the future, which will eliminate the need for third-party software. With this feature, the calls will be recorded onto the cloud, and everyone participating in the call will be notified that the call is being recorded.
The chat media gallery allows users to find photos or links that were previously sent without having to scroll through the chat log. The Gallery now contains all of the files, photos and links in the conversation for easy access.
Future updates, which are slated for release later this summer, will include support for texts, encrypted audio calls and file sharing.
The desktop release allows for HD video calls (in 1080opx video) with up to 24 people. It also includes support for Twitter-style @mentions.
Microsoft plans to add support for profile invites, group chat links and other features. But the most talked-about upcoming feature is end-to-end encryption for Skype text messages, audio calls and share files. Notifications and messages in these conversations will be hidden in chat lists to keep them private.
In the near future, Skype 8.0 will roll out new features to iPad users, which will include personalized themes, messages, @mentions, chat lists and more.
The 8.0 version comes nearly one year after Skype’s last desktop update, which was primarily focused on design changes. New visual elements include color-coding in chat messages and the addition of reaction emojis.
Skype 7.0, the classic version, will continue working as normal until the September 1 deadline. After this date, users will need to update to the 8.0 version in order to continue using Skype.
Skype still maintains about 300 million monthly users, but the platform’s growth has remained stagnant due to competition from Apple’s FaceTime and Facebook’s video chat.