Windows Insiders have first dibs on the next edition of Skype.
Dubbed "Skype Universal Windows Platform Preview," the next iteration of Microsoft's messaging service is meant to work across all Windows 10 devices.
No longer will different Windows devices have different experiences with Skype, Microsoft is making its messaging platform — which it purchased for $8.5 billion in 2011 — look and run the same on every Window 10 device, including desktop PCs, laptops, 2-in-1 convertibles, tablets and smartphones.
The first build of Skype, however, will focus primarily on the desktop version of the service and will offer the usual features such as group chats and one-on-one voice and video calls. The preview version still has some bugs in it, however, so there are some missing options like group voice and video calling.
Nonetheless, Microsoft says it has been listening to feedback, noting that its users preferred single mode apps that were built to be lighter and faster than the heavier desktop apps that did one too many things at one time.
"But what we also learned from this feedback is that as the screen size gets bigger — large tablets, 2 in 1s and PCs for example — and you begin to use the apps, expectations shift and people want to limit app clutter," Microsoft writes on the Skype blog.
For the most part, the preview of the next Skype looks cleaner and tighter. Overall, it is a more polished app, but the upcoming features also look promising. For example, Microsoft says that Skype users will not only be able to start a chat with anyone using Skype, but also with any non-Skype users. Finally, the Skype app will also be responsive, so it should really look and feel just right regardless of what device it's being used on.
For the time being, those of us who aren't Windows Insiders will still be able to use the existing Skype app on Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft promises that over time, the rest of us will get streamlined into the Skype Universal Windows Platform app.
Skype users who use the app mostly on mobile though will have to wait a bit longer. But Microsoft also promises the mobile version is up next once the PC version is ready for a final release.