Skype for desktop has been overhauled — and it’s available now

skype desktop upgrade for desktpo
It’s been available in preview for several months, but today, October 31, Microsoft is rolling out its new-look Skype desktop app for everyone who still uses the software to keep in touch with friends and family.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and coming exactly a year after the team introduced an overhauled version for mobile, the revamped version aims to make the user experience smoother while throwing in a few new features.

Anyone who engages with Skype regularly and across multiple machines will be pleased to learn that the software will now sync between them. In others words, you’ll find your messages and content available anywhere you have Skype installed, whether it’s your smartphone, tablet, desktop, Xbox, smart speakers, and more.

You’ll also find customizable themes to make the experience easier on the eye, themes that apparently “reflect your mood, personality, or time of day,” according to a post announcing the revamped software.

There’s a “chat list,” too, that lets you organize your contact list by time, unread, or status, and you can pin people or groups for quick access. You’ll find more versatile display options as well, so you can switch the view from standard to compact, or simply collapse the chat list to focus more on your content.

In an effort to improve your productivity, the team has introduced a new notification panel, a hub that holds all of your incoming messages and @mentions in group conversations, while it also lets you know if someone has quoted you. You can jump straight to a conversation by clicking on any of the messages showing in the notification panel.

Skype made its name all those years ago through its video calling features, and this of course is still central to the Skype experience. Playing catch-up with competing apps, it’s jazzing up the experience with a new reactions button to let you express how you’re feeling during a conversation. There’s also a mentions feature for group conversations where you can hit the “@” mark and then type a person’s name to quickly send a message only to them.

That’s just a brief overview of what’s new with the latest version of Skype for desktop. It will arrive as an automatic download for users who have that setting enabled; otherwise you can download it manually via Skype’s website.

Features

Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.
Gaming

Kick off your streaming career with our complete guide to Twitch broadcasting

Streaming games on Twitch for the first time can be daunting to say the least, but with a few simple steps, it's remarkably easy to do. Here's how to do so using a PC, Mac, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 console.
Deals

Decluttr is offering a refurbished iPhone 6 for as little as $120

Decluttr announced a deal on its "good" condition iPhone 6. Through Decluttr, you can get the device for as little as $120, which is an excellent deal on the phone. The iPhone 6 may be a few generations old, but it's still a great device.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Product Review

You won't buy Microsoft's Surface Hub 2S, but it could still change your life

The Microsoft Surface Hub 2S wants to change the way you collaborate at work. That’s a lofty goal most devices fail to achieve, but the unique Hub 2S could be an exception. And trust us – you’re going to want it.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Computing

Meet the mastermind behind Microsoft's massive new Surface Hub

Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay gives us an exclusive peek at the 85-inch Surface Hub 2, and explains how innovation and collaboration will transform your workplace.
Computing

Microsoft reveals details of Surface Hub 2S, coming in June at $9,000

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.
Gaming

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.
Deals

Amazon strikes $100 off the price of Microsoft Surface Go tablets

If you've been eyeing Microsoft's Surface Go for its compact size and portability, now may be a great time to buy the tablet. Amazon has a $100 discount on the Surface Go, bringing the price of this slate down to just under $400.
Photography

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?
Computing

Mueller report releases on CD, forces Congress to find PCs with disc drives

The Mueller report was released this week to Congress via CDs and congressional members had to find PCs with working disc drives to access the 400-page document. The redacted report was also released to the public on a website.