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Skype is a curious app. It took VOIP telephone calls 3 Things to Know Before Switching to a VoIP Phone Plan 3 Things to Know Before Switching to a VoIP Phone Plan Why is VoIP so popular? And is it in your best interest to switch to using a VoIP-only option that replaces your mobile plan? Here's what you need to know about it. Read More to the masses for the first time, and in the pre-WhatsApp era, it was the king of internet chat.

Fast-forward to today and a lot has changed. It no longer enjoys an unrivaled hegemony over its rivals. Even apps like Instagram and Snapchat have started to eat into its user base.

As such, Microsoft sensibly decided it was time to give the aging app a refresh Microsoft Redesigns Skype for the Next Generation Microsoft Redesigns Skype for the Next Generation Microsoft has launched a new version of Skype which has been redesigned from the ground up. Skype's makeover borrows elements from Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. Read More . The preview version of the update can now be downloaded by anyone to try out.

What’s New in Skype?

As the tech world moved to sleeker designs and flatter colors, Skype was left behind. The desktop version of the app still looked like it was stuck in 2008.

A redesign of the app is the centerpiece of the new release. There are more whites, colored accents, and a fresh motif.

You’ll also find some new features. Namely, you can now make use of in-call image-sharing, add reactions, and “@” mentions to notify members in group conversations. And make sure you check out the new media gallery: it makes finding the content you’ve shared much easier.

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How to Get the Skype Preview

You can grab a copy off Microsoft’s website. But be warned: a lot of “old” Skype features are still absent. Microsoft promised they’ll arrive “eventually.” (Where have we heard that before? Microsoft To-Do vs. Wunderlist: Everything You Need to Know Microsoft To-Do vs. Wunderlist: Everything You Need to Know Microsoft To-Do will replace Wunderlist in the coming months. Learn about To-Do's best features, what's still missing, and how you can migrate from Wunderlist to To-Do. Read More )

To get started, navigate to the Skype Insider website from the computer you want to install it on. If you want to grab a copy of the Windows, you’ll need to click Get Windows Insider Access and enter your Microsoft Account credentials.

If you visit from a Mac, just click Download for Desktop. You don’t need to sign up for Insider Access.

Have you tried the new version of Skype? Do you like it? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Crispin
    August 26, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Since downloading the new version of Skype I have been unable to skype with people it was simple (and enjoyable!) to skype before. This is a classic example of a company "improving" a product by making it look different but in the process making it hard (or in this case impossible) to use. What sort of idiot thinks that this is progress or makes their company more appealing? I despair.

  2. Christian Cawley
    August 21, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Most (if not all) of the call recorder add-ons don't work with the new Skype. Until this feature is added or the API publicised for developers, it's unlikely the new Skype will catch on.

    Fortunately, old versions can still be found online.

  3. Bob
    August 21, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    And remember that there is no support from Skype from Micro$oft, only a users forum. Will someone please introduce a viable alternative to Skype. Or even Skype as it was pre Micro$oft!

    • Pikawubz
      August 21, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Discord has video calling soon - once that comes out Skype is being uninstalled :P