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Skype For Desktop Gets Redesign & Mobile App Features

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Skype is given a lick of paint, GIF support and easier media sharing as Microsoft looks to replicate the mobile experience

Skype is bringing several of the social and aesthetic features of its recently refreshed mobile application to the desktop.

The mobile edition received a visual overhaul, along with simplified sharing options and social features such as reactions and GIF support earlier this month.

And now Microsoft wants to replicate this experience while taking advantage of the larger desktop screen.

Skype Desktop 1

Skype for desktop

Chats remain the main focus, but are now complemented by real time screen sharing, ‘@mentions’ and a new notification panel which displays links, photos and documents shared in a group conversation.

A number of these features have been included in the Windows 10 app released earlier this year, but now Microsoft is delivering them to more users. A preview edition of the desktop client is now available to Windows Insiders ahead of a wider release later this year.

In July, the company retired several incompatible versions of its Voice over IP (VoIP) software as it sought to bring Skype further into the fold of its Universal Windows Platform app ecosystem, whereby apps are built to easily run across any modern Windows-based device, rather than requiring a host of different versions. 

“We’ve noticed that you are, or previously were, using Skype on Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1, and the Messaging app for Windows 10 Mobile, Windows RT or a TV. We’re sorry to inform you that we will be permanently retiring these versions of Skype. As a result, after July 1, 2017, you will no longer be able to sign in to these versions of Skype,” said Skype in a statement to its users.

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