Menu
Microsoft updates Skype for Windows, Mac with new chat interface

Microsoft updates Skype for Windows, Mac with new chat interface

Microsoft's Skype app has received a facelift that makes it look more like Windows Phone--which may or not be a good thing.

Chatting in Skype for Windows and the Mac now looks more like the Windows Phone version, whether you like it or not.

Microsoft's Skype announced version 7.0 for the Mac together with a new preview version for the Windows desktop. Both include a number of potentially attractive productivity improvements, including the ability to chat and talk simultaneously in the new Mac version. But there's still an awful lot of white space, which may annoy some.

"For the last year we've dedicated a lot of time to refresh the chat experience in Skype. We've brought more improvements to the desktop," Tom Huang, a Skype exec, wrote in a blog post.

Why this matters: What's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander. On a phone, scrolling is part of the experience. On a PC, it's more annoying. The new chat UI could use some tightening up, especially if spread out across a large, high-resolution monitor, to cut out some of that white space. But while Skype hasn't come out and said it, we suspect the new Skype app (at least on Windows) is intended to be (eventually) snapped inside one of the four corner windows that Windows 10 allows. In that scenario, the UI should (hopefully) tighten up and conserve space more efficiently.

Some useful additions

In general, the new chat UI looks nice, with round avatars representing your friends. Photos can easily be dropped into a chat session, as can documents. Both are useful features when talking back and forth with a colleague or friend, although the layout isn't quite ideal--they sort of dominate the conversation. Microsoft touts this increased spacing as a benefit, although it may prove a bit annoying to scroll back through a long chat.

When chat is tucked into a narrow window, however, it seems to work well. Skype for Mac 7.0 adds the ability to text-chat and video-chat in side-by-side windows, sharing photos and documents alongside the live commentary that you and your friends can provide. And Microsoft also promised that the free group video calls that the company previously announced will work better than ever.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftskypevoiptelecommunicationvideo software

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments