Skype Goes Modern in Windows 8 App

The revamped Skype is designed to be in tune with Windows 8, with a refreshed interface, call and contact lists, and support for Snap.

Just in time for the launch of Windows 8, Skype is getting a new modern-style app to take advantage of all the operating system's features.

Given that Microsoft owns Skype, it's no surprise that the Windows 8 app is a model for the new modern interface. The app appears as a Live Tile on the Windows 8 Start screen, and shows a preview of missed calls or new messages. The app also runs constantly in the background--though Skype says this doesn't drain battery life--and delivers notifications for new calls or messages.

Inside the app, the main screen shows a list of recent interactions and favorite contacts, followed by a list of all contacts that scrolls off to the right. A small phone logo on this screen leads to a dialer for direct calls to landlines and mobile phones, using Skype credit or a subscription.

Perhaps the most useful feature in Skype's Windows 8 app is its support for Snap. Users can drag the app to the right or left sidebar, and continue to see their video calls while using other apps. The sidebar shows a portrait view of the person on the other end, with a thumbnail view of the user underneath.

One thing that's missing from Skype's Windows 8 app is support for the Share charm, which lets any two apps share information with one another. The CAPability to grab links or photos from within other apps and send them to a Skype contact would certainly be useful, especially while a conversation is snapped to the sidebar. A Skype representative says the company is working to support sharing from the Windows 8 charms menu in the future.

Outside of the app itself, Skype integrates with Windows 8's People app, which acts as a central location for email addresses, phone numbers and other contact methods. Users can connect Skype to the People app by logging into Skype with a Microsoft account.

Skype for Windows 8 will be available on October 26, the same day that Microsoft's new operating system launches. Skype's blog post says you can find the app "on your new Windows 8 device and or download it from the Windows Store," so it may be pre-installed on some new Windows hardware.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationskypeWindows 8MicrosoftvoipWindowssoftwareoperating systems

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?