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Latest Skype Preview update adds MSN Weather, improved calls, better Bing integration, more

The new call stage on Skype

Skype, your beloved VoIP service and messenger, has been updated to version in the Skype Insider program. Testers can try out the latest batch of new features and changes before Microsoft pushes them to the general public in the later update.

Build 8.99 contains a few notable improvements and new options, such as integration with Microsoft Weather, reworked call tabs, improved Bing integration, and more.

What is new in Skype 8.99?

  • Microsoft Weather now lets you check out the forecast without leaving Skype. Click the weather icon next to your profile, and Skype will open a side pane with a detailed forecast courtesy of Microsoft Weather, allegedly one of the most accurate weather providers.
    A screenshot of Skype 899 Preview
  • Reworked call tabs make it easier to distinguish Skype-to-Skype and Skype-to-Phone calls. Those two are now separate tabs, each offering specific features. For example, the Skype-to-Skype tab has prominent buttons to initiate a new video or audio call, while the Skype-to-Phone tab provides quick info about your subscription, current balance, and more.
    A screenshot of Skype 899 Preview
  • Prioritized Skype contacts on the Contacts tab. Skype contacts now sit on top of other people, making it easier to quickly find the person you need to chat with on Skype.
  • Interactive Bing Chat prompts provide you with fun and fresh ideas to talk about with Microsoft's AI. For example, Skype can offer you to speak with Bing about inventing a new gadget, make it tell you a joke, or entertain in another way. Microsoft says those prompts shuffle every time you launch Skype.
    A screenshot of Skype 899 Preview
  • Bing toolbox is another improvement for the Bing 1:1 chat in Skype. It offers various tools and methods for interaction with the service, like education, social media, travel, creativity, entertainment, language, sports, or technology.

Other changes in Skype 8.99 Preview include instant access to Bing Chat (no more waiting in line), redesigned landing page illustration, consecutive audio messages auto-play, and a single fix for the search bar blocking the top chat on iPad.

You can download Skype Insider from the official website. More details about the latest release are available on the forum.

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