Windows and OS X users rejoice, for the Skype desktop clients have finally received the long awaited refresh that was supposed to bring along a new user interface.
It has been a long time coming, but the new look is here.
The Skype team shared the good news on the official blog, confirming the release of a new version of the software for both the leading desktop platforms — Windows gets a preview build, by the way, while users on OS X can grab version 7.0.
Both new versions of the VoIP client come with a refreshed UI that better aligns the mobile experience to that of the desktop. In other words, Microsoft’s new design philosophy is at play here.
Metro, or Modern UI as it’s called, although here it is in a bit more reserved form.
The blog post best explains the visual changes:
“We’ve made the Skype experience consistent whether you are using your mobile device or your desktop PC. Now, you’ll see thumbnail pictures of your contacts, a new bubble-style chat design, and consistent icons for chat, video calls and audio calls.”
Just in case you were wondering, the build number of the preview version (for Windows) is 188.8.131.52.
These improvements are not just limited to visuals, though. They also make the application easier to use. During a video chat, for example, the message window now resides on the right side of the screen, making it easier to send links and other content.
But apart from these major cosmetic changes, the feature set remains the same.
You can download Skype for Windows in preview form here, and version 7.0 for OS X here.