We’ve been listening, and we’ve heard you. In the coming weeks, we’ll release the first version of the Skype Universal Windows Platform Preview app to our Windows Insiders for testing. You may be wondering why, and what this means for the Skype experiences you are using on Windows 10. Since November, we’ve been collecting feedback on the Consumer Preview of Skype Integration for Windows 10
. The integration enabled us to give people the fastest path to what they want to do with Skype. We took advantage of the mobile paradigm with one app per task, such as the Phone app, Maps app, and so on. With this in mind, we released built-in, task oriented apps. This approach worked well in research: people saw value in single mode apps that promised a lighter weight and speedier path from intent to completion.
But what we also learned from this feedback is that 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. And like that, you once again want an app that lets you do anything you want within the comfort of one window. This is why we are introducing the Skype Universal Windows Platform app.
We wanted to learn from integration and improve on the current Skype app with new experiences. We’ve simplified the look and feel by removing duplicative and unnecessary menus to prevent confusion between them. The global menus are now in a new, single Settings menu, and you’ll see contextual menus appear in upcoming releases.
So, what’s in this version? It includes the following popular functionality:
- 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’ll also see us work a lot to ensure the app is responsive:
You’ll notice that you can still use the existing Skype app on Windows 10 PCs. Over time we will streamline all Skype for Windows 10 experiences into the Skype Universal Windows Platform app, but we’ll do this in stages—first ensuring we release a fully featured, high quality and lightweight application by gathering your feedback and monitoring its performance.
What about Windows 10 Mobile? We’ll first release on Windows 10 PCs and shortly, you’ll be able to use the same Universal Windows Platform app on your Windows 10 Mobile devices.
Give the Skype Universal Windows Platform Preview app a go if you’re an Insider. If you’re not a Windows Insider yet, you can sign up here
. Please note this will be the first preview build so there a few smaller bugs we’re working through. Once you have the build, please give us feedback on your experience by going to the Windows Feedback app, searching for Skype and up-voting a trending topic or creating a new item.
Finally, if you have questions, you can peek at our list of top FAQs here
Thank you for all the insight and feedback you’ve given us over this past year. We’re excited to hear your thoughts as you continue this journey with us. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to bring new features to the Skype Universal Windows Platform Preview app.