Windows 10: Microsoft shares more on the new Skype Universal app experience

A few days ago, Microsoft announced that it's killing off its Skype Modern app - which was first introduced with Windows 8 - requiring any existing users of that version to switch instead to the Skype desktop app. The company has previously indicated that it plans to roll out a new Skype experience for Windows 10, although this won't arrive until some time after the new OS launches on July 29.

But Microsoft has now clarified some aspects of its plans to fill the void left by the retirement app of the Skype Modern app. Microsoft has previously referred to built-in Skype experiences on the way in 'Messaging', 'Phone' and 'Video' in Windows 10, and Skype's Senior Product Marketing Manager, Aga Guzik, told Mary Jo Foley on ZDNet a bit more about what that will involve.

Messaging, Phone and Video will be Universal apps that work across Windows 10 phones, tablets and desktops, and which will offer a 'built in' Skype experience. Guzik explains:

With Windows 10 we wanted to truly build Skype into the platform so it's easier and faster for users to complete tasks at hand. This is why, later this year, we will be offering Skype built into Messaging, Calling and Video. For users who still want an all-in-one application, the all in one Skype app provides the best mix of navigation friendliness for both mouse and keyboards and touch as well as the features our users love.

Guzik added that integrating Skype with key tasks in these Universal communications apps offers "simplicity and efficiency" for those users that are happier with a task-based interface for communicating, and one that doesn't require additional app launches or downloads. For those that prefer having all their Skype functions in one place, the desktop app will continue to be available.

So, the Skype Modern app won't have a single, direct replacement in Windows 10 - instead, it will be 'reimagined' as a more integral part of the communications experience across multiple Windows 10 apps.

And, unsurprisingly, these three Universal apps will remain exclusive to Windows 10, and will not be released for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 - but since these users can upgrade to Windows 10 free in the first year, that's unlikely to be a big issue for many people.

Microsoft is still playing it coy when it comes to firming up a date for the rollout of the new Skype experience in Windows 10. Guzik said that it "will come with an update to Windows 10", but didn't hint at when that might be.

Source: Mary Jo Foley (ZDNet)

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