New Skype on a MacBook

Microsoft is clearly trying to get people to use Teams. However, that doesn’t mean the company has completely forgotten about Skype. The company just put out a redesign for Skype that adds a fresh new look and some interesting features.

What’s New With Skype?

Microsoft describes the latest of many Skype redesigns as an “improved, faster, reliable, and super modern-looking Skype.” This will be a gradual upgrade, as Microsoft says it’ll roll out over the next few months.

The most intense redesign is coming to the section you see during a call, which Microsoft calls the call stage. The section you see during calls will soon include all attendees, whether they have video enabled or not. This makes it easier to see exactly who is on the call with you. Of course, you can shut this off and only see people with video if you want.

Additionally, Microsoft is adding a great deal of customization to this view. There will be all sorts of themes and layouts you can apply to give it a look and feel that suits your tastes and your needs. You’ll be able to choose from a speaker view, grid view, large gallery, Together Mode, and a content view.

The new themes are nice and colorful. While colors won’t change the functionality offered by Skype, they could boost your mood a little, as they do look quite nice.

In terms of features, Skype is getting custom notification sounds, which are actually live now. There’s also a new feature called TwinCam, which allows you to add your phone’s camera to a call, but that’s coming at a later date.

In a blog post, Microsoft talked about the importance of performance to go along with the design changes. The company said, “While we love the design changes, we knew they weren’t enough. We needed to focus on performance to make the experience delightful.”

The company says the desktop version could see as much as a 30% improvement in performance.

Skype Rises Like a Phoenix

Just when you think Microsoft has fully shifted its focus over to Teams, the company announces a new Skype update that reminds us that it purchased Skype for an absurd amount of money.

Are these changes enough to convince people to stop using Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and all of the other popular video calling services out there? Only time will tell, but another Skype redesign certainly can’t hurt.

RELATED: The Best Zoom Alternatives for Video Chatting

Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
Read Full Bio »