December 10, 2022
Microsoft refuses to let Skype die, introduces another redesign
Teams may be Microsoft’s primary communications platform, but the company is still pushing a major update for Skype with a whole new look.
Microsoft seems to be refusing to let go of Skype, even though Teams has clearly become the focus of its communications efforts. The company has announced another major redesign for Skype, just over a year since the last major visual revamp, introducing more colorful themes and illustrations. There are also some new features in tow.
First of all, this new version of Skype comes with a completely revamped visual experience and it actually looks quite nice. You now see a colorful header with a variety of themes to choose from, which work in both light and dark modes. You’ll see these colors more prominently in the app, where previously they were mostly visible in chats. There are also colorful illustrations during the installation process, which make things a little more lively. Microsoft is also introducing new contrast themes for accessibility to make the app even more usable for visually impaired users.
Moreover, the calling experience on mobile is also being revamped to match what was introduced for desktops a year ago. You can see the call phase in the light theme, instead of always seeing a black background. The layout of the video call is also automatically adjusted according to the number of people participating in the call. and Microsoft says it makes it easier to have all call options at hand during a call.
Another major update for calls is support for real-time translation. Skype can already translate audio and text for users in chat, but in the near future Microsoft is also adding a feature where the real-time audio translation actually sounds like your own voice.
Finally, Skype is getting a Today tab on the home screen, which will be a new way to show you news directly in the app, also making it easier to share them with your contacts. You can personalize your news feed by choosing your favorite topics as well.
Microsoft has not indicated when the update will be available, although it does not yet look like it will be available to everyone.
What is most interesting about this, as we mentioned at the beginning, is the fact that Microsoft still supports skype. The company launched Teams years ago and it is clear where its greatest efforts are. With Windows 11, Teams is built in with the chat feature and is also intended for personal use. In fact, Skype is no longer pre-installed with Windows 11, so it’s strange to see so much effort in redesigning Skype, especially considering Teams itself (the personal version, at least) doesn’t get major updates that often.
Microsoft recently launched the Communities feature in Teams, which makes it easier for organizations and associations to manage communications and events between members. It is just strange to see these two apps being supported with different features and additions, when it is clear that Teams is Microsoft’s end goal. It would arguably be better for everyone if all these efforts were focused on the same app, but it seems Skype is here to stay, even if it’s only for a few remaining diehard fans.
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