Microsoft is updating its Skype app for desktop. The new update is dubbed as Skype version 8.0 and is targeted towards getting the app closer to its smartphone counterpart. Microsoft is urging its users to upgrade to it before September 1, as the older version will cease to function after that date.
Alongside the new design, the update also comes with a few new features. This includes easier access to screen sharing while making HD video calls, @ mentions in chat, new message reactions and a new notification panel. Microsoft has also added support for file sharing of up to 300MB and a new media gallery, which will make it easier to find photos, links and other documents shared in a respective chat.
Microsoft plans to add more features to the video calling app in the next few months, which will include, read receipts for messages, profile invites, and private conversations. The company guarantees the conversations to be end-to-end encrypted. This also extends to audio calls and all the media files and documents shared on the platform, which will be secured with industry standard Signal Protocol. Lastly, Microsoft also plans on adding call recording on Skype, which is a much anticipated feature, as users have to rely on third-party apps for that.
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While Skype continues to have a huge user base, it has been facing a lot a competition lately from the likes of WhatsApp, Messenger and FaceTime. The company updated its mobile version last year in order to attract young users. While the update wasn’t all that well received, Microsoft has been listening closely to its user base to improve its offering. Skype 8.0 looks like a good example of it. Microsoft plans on launching the update for Apple iPad as well.