Microsoft has announced that will be releasing a Skype app for both Windows 8 and Windows RT ahead of the October 26 launch. While Microsoft says that this app will come pre-installed on the top twelve Windows 8 OEM made machines, it will not come pre-installed on the Surface RT tablet and users will have to download the app from the Windows Store. Also Read - Skype launches new 'Meet Now' feature to take on Zoom and Houseparty
Notably, the new Skype app is now moving away from the peer-to-peer infrastructure and will now utilize more of a hybrid model using the Windows Messenger Infrastructure. Additionally, for storing pictures and videos it will use the Windows Azure back-end. Also Read - Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions announced; will replace Office 365 from April 21
Of course, as this is an app built from the ground up, it inherits the Metro style interface design championed by Microsoft. Facebook integration remains, but Skype is now less Facebook-centric. Skype will take advantage of all the new UI paradigms leveraged by Windows 8 and Windows RT. Also Read - Skype sees 70% surge in users after Coronavirus lockdowns, says Microsoft
Unfortunately, Microsoft failed to detail more information with its synergy with Microsoft Lync which is a part of Office. Thankfully though, Microsoft is not dumping multi-platform support, though we can expect to see more enhancements to the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 versions. Microsoft has announced that later this fall, Skype for Windows 8 will have a new video messaging capability through which users will be able to send small video messages to their Skype buddies.
At the end of the day most of the stuff that Microsoft has announced today was expected, nonetheless it is indeed a welcome change from the drab and boring UI we have become accustomed to over the years.