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This article was published on September 27, 2021

Microsoft promises it hasn’t given up on Skype with big batch of updates

Skype is still in active development

Microsoft promises it hasn’t given up on Skype with big batch of updates

As Microsoft Teams exploded in popularity, I’d all but assumed Skype was dead. Heck Microsoft even built Teams right into Windows 11, aiming to make the collaboration software your go-to resource for calling friends and family as well as colleagues. The company has barely made a whisper about Skype in the past year or so.

But apparently, Microsoft isn’t giving up on Skype just yet. In a blog post today, the company detailed myriad new features coming to the app, including a cleaner new design.

In particular, the company focused on its call grid, allowing everyone to be visible with larger video feeds rather than small previews. Your own video feed will also now be visible on the main view of the call. In all, the layout it seems to work more like other video conferencing apps, like Teams or Zoom.

Skype new design fall 2021

Meanwhile, you can opt to hide audio-only participants or they can assign more colorful backgrounds rather than the dull grey background that is usually shown when people opt-out of video.

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Microsoft also says the desktop app is now 30% faster in ‘key scenarios’, while the Android app is ‘over 2000%’ faster, with more improvements on the way.

But my favorite feature might be a new ‘Twin Cam’ feature that lets you use your phone or another secondary device to serve as a secondary camera angle — something I can see being very useful for virtual lessons. Just scan a QR code and the secondary device will be added as an extra camera under your name.

Some other changes coming to the app:

  • Icons following Windows 11’s ‘Fluent’ design language.
  • New sets of themes.
  • Lots of new color gradients all over the place.
  • Skype’s no-install Meet Now feature is getting a cleaner design as well.
  • People who join Meet Now links will now see the name and avatar of your call.
  • Skype now works with “all browsers.”
  • Reactions are now quicker to access and easier to find.

But really the biggest news to me is the fact that Skype continues to be in such active development in the first place. I’d pretty much assumed Microsoft was looking to have Teams swallow up Skype, but despite Teams’ popularity in the business world, Skype still holds a good amount of clout for everyday video calls with the people you care about.

While I still have some doubts about Skype’s longevity, the company says the app is “here to stay”. You can read more about the updates coming to Skype at the source link below

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