Skype has had more redesigns in the last five years than hot dinners, but Microsoft is still ready to try to tweak things one more time. The software manufacturer is taunt plans for an “improved, faster, more reliable and super modern-looking Skype.” Microsoft says it has been listening to feedback and will begin rolling out changes to modernize Skype over the next several months.
The most important part of Skype, what Microsoft calls the calling stage, is receiving the most attention. The grid displayed during calls will soon include everyone in a call, regardless of whether they have enabled video or not. This puts all the participants next to each other, including their own video on the main interface.
Microsoft is also adding new themes and layouts to this view, offering much-needed customization for the main calling interface in Skype. You’ll be able to choose from speaker view, grid view, large gallery, together mode, and even a content view, with options to show only video-enabled people.
New, colorful Skype themes will be available soon, with button gradients, an improved side panel on mobile, and Fluent Design icons across all apps. Skype users without avatars will also get color gradients to make chats easier to distinguish.
However, it’s not all just design changes. “While we love the design changes, we knew they weren’t enough,” admits the Skype team. in a blog post detailing the changes. “We needed to focus on performance to make the experience enjoyable.” Microsoft claims it is increasing performance on the Android version by more than 2,000 percent in “key scenarios” and by 30 percent on the desktop versions of Skype.
Microsoft also agrees to support all browsers with its future changes to Skype. “We believe that the Skype experience should be seamless, accessible and reliable no matter what browser or device you are using, which is why we are adding support for all browsers,” says the Skype team. “We would like to make sure that no matter what device, platform or browser you are using, Skype will always give you a great experience.”
Some of these enhancements are live now, while others will be rolled out in the coming months. Custom notification sounds are part of the new out-of-the-box features, while a new TwinCam feature that allows you to add your phone’s camera to a call appears to be available later.
Microsoft is certainly focusing on a wide range of improvements for Skype. This is the latest Skype redesign since Microsoft started tweaking things. initially in 2014, followed by a Similar design to Snapchat in 2017, other redesign in 2018 that ended the radical changes similar to Snapchat and many desktop changes and mobile applications since then.
It’s surprising to see another redesign, albeit a modest one. Microsoft has signaled a shift in focus to Microsoft Teams over the past year, with attempts to attract consumers to Teams. Microsoft’s struggles with Skype created a Zoom moment at the beginning of the pandemic last year, and the company has tried take advantage of Teams and its free video calls throughout the day in response to Zoom for Consumers.