We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Skype was receiving some upgrades to make it much more relevant to business. It seems Microsoft weren’t content to leave it there. The software giant recently announced that the Skype Universal Windows Platform is coming and it will be ringing in the changes.
Given the troubles Skype desktop has had since last year, we are expecting some big improvements from the app. Fortunately, it seems Microsoft were listening and it promises a much smoother operation and integration.
As well as a smoother experience on larger screens, Microsoft said they are making Skype much easier to live with day to day. Improvements include a more logical interface, more intuitive menus and the removal of duplicate functions.
It seems less is more with the new Skype and we are okay with that. From what we can tell, the first build will be very simple with an initial login screen that will take a Microsoft of Skype ID and then deliver a simple contacts screen from which you can initiate or answer calls.
Skype is making emoji available for those who use them as well emoticons. More useful is the ability to see what the other person is typing as they do it rather than see the text appear once complete.
Future updates will apparently include getter group messaging, the ability to create groups and hold group meetings. It will also add screen sharing, file sharing and collaboration tools which will all benefit business users.
Finally, the existing Skype app will eventually turn into a Universal Windows Platform app to further integrate into Windows. No date has been set for that though.
Combined with the Office integration and translator we mentioned before, Skype is becoming very useful indeed. The ability to collaborate directly from within One Drive or translate Modern Standard Arabic, English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese will offer huge benefits to international businesses.
The new version of Skype will initially be made available for Windows 10 desktop with mobile following later. It will follow the existing path of being made available to Microsoft Insiders first, then make its way to regular users. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on it to see just how it improves. We’ll let you know what we find out when we do!