Skype 6.0 released for Windows and Mac

With Windows 8 launching tomorrow, the team behind Skype have been working hard to improve the backbone of the world’s most popular video chat service.

A large part of this work has been shifting the messaging system over to the Messenger system, which of course supports offline messaging – a feature that Skype has needed for some time. Microsoft Account integration/merging has been added to Skype too.

This shift also means that you can now contact your Messenger friends (or those on Outlook.com or Hotmail) through Skype. Within the coming weeks you’ll also be able to call your Messenger friends, which will also include your friends on Xbox. It’s likely that we’ll be seeing Skype on the Xbox 360 in the short-term future.

Of course, this update also includes a new look for Skype. Whilst it’s obviously inspired by Microsoft’s new UI designs, it doesn’t seem to sit as well within the Windows 7 UI as it would in the flatter Windows 8 desktop (where of course you’d use the touch version anyway).

Other features include support for six new languages, and both multiple window and retina support on Mac.

If you want to learn more, check out the Skype Blog or download Skype 6.0 now (Windows | Mac).

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I just wish they'd make it a bit faster on Android and finally sort out the multiple accounts consolidation mess...

On my own blog I have discussed Skype's changing UI and subsequent devolution of that UI in my "Dark Future of Tech - The Skype UI and Modern UI madness" post. It is just a simple google search away.

However, I will post an excerpt.

"Skype 6 (Desktop) is not that different from Skype 5 which fits in perfectly with the current opinion from Microsoft about the desktop. As I mentioned before, Skype 6 takes the Windows 8 desktop UI quirks and brings them to any version of Windows, whether you want it or not. It dispenses with the nice gradient effect and puts more of that horrid pale blue and drab white on to your screen."

And on metro:

"[...] group call. I think… Yes it has to be a group call it shows many people. On one icon with some text in the top corner. Well… I guess those avatars aren't important enough to show. Neither is a clear indication of who is in the call. You would think with Microsoft's obsession with tiles we would have a big ol' tile view of who is in such a group call… NOPE!"

Check out the entire post on the New Tobin Paradigm blog... Sure saves on long comments here..

Skype 6 on Mac looks.... the same. Sucks its missing a lot of new functionality, much like Messenger that hasn't been updated since 2011. Thanks Microsoft.

Wow this is soooooo ugly. There is no attention to detail in terms of where the user wants to click to access things. They have moved the emoticons icon to the very far right.

The new Skype for Metro compared to the desktop version will make Grandmothers rejoice with it's simplicity. The Metro version is an early release that is missing the ability to launch at Windows startup unfortunately (unless I'm missing something), but it will be fully baked into the OS soon. I'm getting happier every day with Win 8 particularlty with the frequency of critical updates. No more years of waiting between every enhancement for Microsoft, Win 8 allows major updates to be pushed in very short time. This will be a huge differentiator.

Having been well unimpressed with any version of Skype 5, I thought I'd take a flyer on this, due to the MS Account sync.
2 things I was impressed with:
- it was easy, in setup, to merge existing Skype account with new Windows Account sign-in.
- you can now turn off automatic updates, thankfully.
Lookswise, on balance, I prefer the new "less bling-and-bubblegum" approach.

If W8 literally used baby-**** brown to color everything and shaped every GUI like a dildo, you would still see the same nodding dolts defending how great it was. The "new" UI is and old design in every way because it's the easiest way to make stuff work on low end hardware. period. You're forced to see it on your more powerful machines because M$ wants everything similar, which is ironic, considering none of the apps for your phone, RT device or W8 desktop can work outside their native devices. W8 is going to worse than Vista reputation wise and all the fanboys together won't change that.

Here's a question, has the QUALITY of phone calls improved at all? maybe that would be a qood question.

Simplified flat designs can look very aesthetically pleasing and modern while also keeping that performance boost. It's Microsoft's approach and execution that is questionable. Not a fan of their design in general and I'm a Windows only user.

Hahaiah said,
If W8 literally used baby-**** brown to color everything and shaped every GUI like a dildo, you would still see the same nodding dolts defending how great it was. The "new" UI is and old design in every way because it's the easiest way to make stuff work on low end hardware. period. You're forced to see it on your more powerful machines because M$ wants everything similar, which is ironic, considering none of the apps for your phone, RT device or W8 desktop can work outside their native devices. W8 is going to worse than Vista reputation wise and all the fanboys together won't change that.

Here's a question, has the QUALITY of phone calls improved at all? maybe that would be a qood question.

WTF did I just read...

Mortis said,
The new UI is ****.

No it's not. The new UI is nice.

<Filtered out the bypass of the swear filter, in the quote - Calum>

Edited by Calum, Oct 25 2012, 10:36am :

Brian Miller said,
Wish they would update the iOS version. Just try to paste in a phone number and see what happens...

An update for that, with the new backend, is on its way There's been no confirmation of when, though.

Calum said,

An update for that, with the new backend, is on its way There's been no confirmation of when, though.

Cool! How do you know this? Is there a user forum on the Skype site or something?

Silver47 said,
Give it 6 months to a year and Messenger will be shut down.

Messenger is dead. Long live Skype!


I prefer the MSN client over Skype by allot. The contact list is completely and utterly useless when you have more then 10 ppl in there on Skype.

WooHoo!!! said,
Does that mean you can just sign in with your Microsoft id and not have to create some obscure account name?

Fortunately, it does. But, annoyingly to me, the unwanted Skype name I had before I merged my Skype account with my Microsoft account still shows up in places

ingramator said,
Love the new flat metro inspired look!

I don't. It looks... cheap.
I love clear and easy designs. But this is ugly. A failed try to give Skype a simple metro look.

NoClipMode said,

I took this screen shot of it on Win 8, it looks much better than on Win 7 (like everything does) ...

https://lh4.googleusercontent....3AeQSDQ/s955/Untitled-1.jpg


Maybe it's just me but I feel it looks worse on Windows 8. Honestly, I feel the window's container style just reeks of inconsistent and non-streamlined design (same could be said about Windows 7). The thick borders don't work especially well with flat surfaces. There is awkwardness in the details like the random red box around the close button (there's even a tiny gap between the top of the box and the window edge!).

Digit12345 said,

Maybe it's just me but I feel it looks worse on Windows 8.

You cant go on about inconsistency and then say it looks worse on Win 8... it clearly suits 8 more. Win 7 and Aero are the total opposite design style of Metro. Even though desktop Skype is only slightly Metro-ish, it's still nothing like the Aero design. Look at the image in this article, with Win 7 Aero theres gradients on the tool bar, transparent windows, pixelated rounded window corners (nasty), an ugly black 1 pixel wide line that separates the program from the transparent Aero window, and a scroll bar thats over 10 years old from Win XP. The whole thing is an inconsistent mess.

8 isn't perfect either, but it's a whole lot better than any other Windows OS in this area.

I never said it looks any less inconsistent on Windows 7, more that it looks better on 7 (imo of course). I can appreciate sleek and simplified design principles but the way it's done in 8, especially in desktop mode, isn't it. I wouldn't praise 7 as having a good design but in all its gimmicky-ness, it looks a lot better than 8 for me. I'm a loyal windows user but honestly, microsoft could take a few design lessons from apple.

NoClipMode said,

I took this screen shot of it on Win 8, it looks much better than on Win 7 (like everything does) ...

https://lh4.googleusercontent....3AeQSDQ/s955/Untitled-1.jpg

No, just no . People must be unbelievably blind or lacking in taste if they can't see how crap the design of Win 8. I'm all for simple, clean designs but 8 just goes to the extreme and it's not even clean looking. Like I said before on here, it's like high contrast only with more colours, but each to their own I guess.

The fundamental problem in my view is that it lacks depth, or put another way, its not been finished off nicely and lacks accenting and highlights here and there in the design.

This new version of Skype looks terrible like anything else from microsoft aimed at win 8.

Edited by Dorza, Oct 25 2012, 6:50pm :