Microsoft Unleashes Skype for Windows 8

The countdown is dwindling…in only 4 days, Windows 8 will be available for purchase. Just in time for the celebratory event, Microsoft has released a Skype that is customized for the new  8 system.

The new version of Skype has a similar look and feel as other apps on Windows 8 – meaning, users can swipe from left to right to view alternate categories including recent activity, favorites contact lists, and more. But, there’s more to this Skype than meets the eye – for Windows 8, the integration makes for a tool that is slightly more complex. For example:

  • Users can pinch the Live Tiles in order to zoom them out so they are easier to see
  • Users can utilize a semantic zoom in order to scroll through a massive list of contacts
  • Since Skype runs in the background, users can customize their Start screens so that a Live Tile displays notifications for things like missed calls
  • Skype is now nestled into the People Hub, too – what this means is, your Skype handle will show up alongside other methods of contact info including your email address, cell number and other data

Along with the aforementioned perks, the in-call experience is different with Skype for Windows 8, too. It has been morphed to benefit from some exclusive features of the new 8. One example is, users can link up their Skype and Microsoft accounts; this way, when you log into your PC with your Microsoft ID, you are actually logging yourself into Skype at the same time. Furthermore, when you are in the middle of a conversation, you can utilize video chat with the whole screen. When doing so, text message bubble pop up on the side of the screen, making for ultra-fun Skype time.

If you happen to be a multi-tasker, as most people are these days, you’ll love the new Skype for the fact that you are always free to swipe away the screen to peek into other recent activity – which can be helpful when you’re hosting more than one IM conversation at a time.

If it be your fancy, you can also lock Skype onto one side of the screen – like you can with other Windows 8 features. With the leftover screen space, you can IM chat within Skype, surf the web, or use just about any other program.
Lastly, your home screen will feature a huge phone icon with a big enough dialer pad for your fingers to phone a friend quickly – and your balance shows there, as well, so you can keep track of all those not-free Skype convos.

Head to the Windows Store on October 26th to grab the free app.

Apparently, the Skype’s not the limit!