For Windows 8 to succeed, it needs apps, and Skype is one of the more popular ones. With free, unlimited, worldwide computer-to-computer calling, it’s easier to see why. One of the only real criticism you could levy against it – at least on the Windows and OS X platforms – was its UI.
A bit janky and haphazard, Skype’s interface and appearance have been outdated for a while. That’s only one of the reasons to be excited for the new Windows 8 app, which, like many other big name we-aren’t-calling-it-Metro apps, looks outstanding.
A major addition to the new Windows 8 OS is something it took from its mobile brother – the People tab. Unlike some operating systems, which offer a basic set of contacts that can tie into basic hooks, like email or phone calls, the People integration goes a bit deeper.
Social apps, like Facebook and Twitter, and communications apps, like Skype, all tie into the People functionality. Start Screen icons, known as live tiles, can update with new information constantly – Skype pipes new messages to the tile, so you don’t have to constantly keep checking the app for updates.
Despite the new UI, Skype has no issues running in the background.
It’s no surprise that Microsoft is prepping the app for release before Windows 8 hits full availability – the company paid more than eight billion dollars for the software just a year and a half ago.
Microsoft said that the new Windows 8 version of Skype won’t support group video calling at launch, though they’re “working on it” and expect to issue an update soon to fix that. In the meantime, you’ll be able to hit up their website and install the current version for all your group video needs.