Microsoft is set to offer a universal platform for Skype in Windows 10 which will be soon available to folks on Windows Insider program. And the aim here is pretty clear — to bring a simplified and unified experience across both desktop and mobile Skype platforms.
Talking about the motive behind launching such a universal platform, Microsoft points towards the feedbacks it has received on the Consumer Preview of Skype Integration for Windows 10 .
In a blog post, the company said,
as the screen size gets bigger—large tablets, 2 in 1s and PCs for example—and you begin to use the apps, expectations shift, and people want to limit app clutter.
The universal platform has a simplified look and feel sans any duplicative and unnecessary menus. The users can find global menus under a new Settings menu and in the upcoming release, there will be more contextual menus.
The new version retains the basic popular features of Skype such as ability to sign in with your Microsoft Account and link a Skype ID; showing and changing availability; access to list of existing Skype contacts ;initiating a chat with anyone in your contact list, personalization with emoticons and mojis; sending photos and participating in existing group chats.
In the subsequent versions, users can expect new features such as chatting with anyone using Skype or not using Skype; creating a group and sending group messages; group voice and video calling; sharing your screen, files, and video messages and many more.
At present, users can continue using the existing Skype app on Windows 10 PC until Microsoft streamlines the Skype experience across all platforms through the universal platform. However, the company intends to do this in stages, like always, by collecting feedbacks from preview versions.
As far as Windows mobile is concerned, the Skype universal platform will be available on Windows 10 mobile devices after its release for Windows 10 PCs.
Here’s Microsoft detailed list of what’s in and what’s to be expected in this and coming versions respectively :
- Sign in with your Microsoft Account and link a Skype ID
- Show and change your availability
- See a list of your existing Skype contacts
- Initiate a chat with anyone in your contact list
- See that the other person is typing
- Make one-to-one voice and video calls and send messages
- Personalize your experience with emoticons and Mojis
- Send photos
- See notifications for incoming calls and messages outside of the app
- Participate in existing group chats
What’s to come? More flexibility, sharing and group features will come in the next couple of releases, including:
- Start a chat with anyone using Skype or not using Skype
- Create a group and send group messages
- Group voice and video calling
- Share your screen, files and video messages
- Manage notifications from individual chats
- And much more…
You need to be on Windows Insider Program to get a glimpse of this new platform when Microsoft releases it in the coming weeks. A more broad release is expected to take place later this year.