On Sunday the Skype blog was updated with an introduction to Skype for Windows 8 (opens in new tab), which will be released this Friday along with Windows 8 and Windows RT devices. It's a brand new experience, the blog states, focusing on people and messages front and center. Recent chat messages and calls will be presented next to frequently messaged contacts immediately after the client is launched.
"Skype has also made it even easier for you to call landlines or mobile phones directly, with a new modern dial pad," said Mark Gillett, chief development and operations officer at Skype. "You can easily see how much Skype Credit you have along with active subscriptions and your recent calls all in one easy view."
In this release, Skype has been "re-architected" from the ground up, and will feel more native than previous versions on Windows 7 and older. It will be "always on," running seamlessly in the background and alerting users about new calls and instant messages in boxy notification tags pinned to the right of the screen. And, naturally, because this will be a Modern UI app, the new-and-improved Skype will not only run in full-screen mode, but be touch compatible.
"Once you've downloaded Skype from the Windows Store, Skype appears on the new Start screen as a live tile," Gillett said. "As well as being the launching point for the Skype experience on Windows 8, the Skype live tile provides a window into the app, showing you if you have missed a call or have a new message waiting for you inside."
Despite its new full-screen nature, users will be able to snap it over to the side while still video chatting and browse the Internet, sift through photos, use maps and more. The new Windows client has also been extended into the People app so that it's easier for users to simply pull up a contact from this modernized address book and place a call or instant message.
"Simply logging in to Skype and connecting your Skype account to the People app, will automatically add the Skype details of everyone you want to keep in touch with," Gillett said. "You can even reach your contacts who aren't yet on Skype through calling their mobile or landline number if you have a phone number stored for them and a little Skype credit or a subscription."
To read the entire post, head here (opens in new tab). Skype for Windows 8 will be included with new Windows 8 devices this Friday, and made available from the Windows Store (opens in new tab) at the same time. A demonstration has been provided below.