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Microsoft officially replaces React Native-based Skype on Windows 10 with Electron version

Today, Microsoft announced that Skype version 8.61 is now available on all supported platforms, bringing along the usual set of new features. More notably, however, along with Skype 8.61, Microsoft is updating Skype for Windows 10 from version 14 to version 15. The secondary version number follows the same system we've been seeing so far, so you'll see both version 8.61 and version 15.61 in the settings.

This new version for Windows 10 replaces the React Native app with Electron, similar to the desktop app you could download from Skype's website. This change was spotted earlier this year by Skype Insiders, but now it will be available for everyone. Aside from changing the technology the app is built on, the new version has a few new capabilities, according to a support page:

  • Updated close options so you can quit Skype or stop it from starting automatically
  • Improved Tray icon, informing you about new messages and presence status
  • Share files directly from your File Explorer
  • 9 videos in a video call
  • Background Replacement
  • Moderated Chats
  • Meet Now Improvements
  • Improved Call Controls

However, the new app is also missing some features, specifically related to the integration with Windows 10 features. The app doesn't work with the Windows 10 share charm, and it won't sync your contacts with the People app.

Aside from that, there are a couple of new features on different platforms. On desktop, it's now possible to select and delete multiple contacts at once. As for mobile devices, iPhone and iPad users can now blur the background during a video call, while Android users can look forward to Android Auto support so they can hear messages read aloud, and reply hands-free. Of course, there's the usual slew of bug fixes and improvements.

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