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Say goodbye to Highlights: Microsoft goes back to basics with Skype redesign

In a recent blog post, Microsoft offered a look at the new face of Skype. If we had to sum up the basics of Microsoft’s new strategy for Skype, it would be back to basics. Over the past several years, Microsoft has added a lot of new features to Skype. Some of them were well-received while others simply didn’t catch on. With this new update, Microsoft is looking to trim some underused offerings and focus on Skype’s core communication features.

Goodbye Highlights

One of the features that we’ll have to say goodbye to is Skype Highlights. According to the blog post, the Snapchat-like feature “didn’t resonate with a majority of users” so it, along with Capture, will be removed. If you have any Highlights that you want to save, you’d better act fast. Users will have until September 3o to download their Highlights before the feature is permanently removed.

A simple clean UI

The removal of Highlights and Capture both serve a larger purpose aside from simply deleting unpopular features. One of the clear goals of this update is to simplify Skype and clean up the UI. On the mobile front, this means that the app will only have three buttons at the bottom of the app: Chat, Calls, and Contacts.

On the desktop side of things, the Skype team is looking toward Legacy Skype for inspiration. They are moving Chats, Calls, Contacts, and Notifications icons to the top left of the window.

The team says that it is hoping these changes will make the app easier to navigate while maintaining the core communication features that users expect from Skype.

Beyond that, Microsoft is making a few changes to the app’s customization options. In addition to a new Dark theme, the company is also introducing a Classic mood with Skype’s standard light blue color scheme. The blog also mentions that the team has decided to remove some of Skype’s decorative options in order to keep the focus on the areas of communication and “getting things done.”

If you want to check out Skype’s new look for yourself, it is currently available on the desktop and mobile apps.

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Eric Brackett
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