Monday, October 22, 2012
Posted by Saad Hashmi at 2:51 PM —
A few days ago we got an early look at Skype for Windows Phone 8, and now Microsoft has officially come out to introduce the Windows 8 client of the world's most popular VoIP service.
The Skype app for Windows 8 brings along all of the features one would expect like notifications, incoming calls in the background, support for favorite contacts, and the ability to call landlines and mobile numbers with Skype Credit. However, with Windows 8 in particular Skype is touting a new backend which promises the app will run "seamlessly in the background without draining your battery."
One unique feature that should be a big boost to productivity is Skype's support of the Windows 8 'Snap' view. That means you can video chat in Skype using the Snapped mode while using another app at the same time, something the Windows 8 version has as a unique advantage over other versions. (Check out a screenshot of this in action after the break.) There is also deep integration of Skype with the People app in Windows 8. Once you login, your Skype contacts appear in your contact list in the People app.
Finally, The Verge has learned from Skype Division President, Derek Snyder, that the service has merged with the Windows Live Messenger backend to remedy battery drain issues. Previously, Skype operated on a peer-to-peer network which forced the connection to always be active, thus causing battery life on phones and tablets to wither. With the improved backend, it appears Skype will utilize a more passive connection that does not demand constant connection yet provides instant notifications. Snyder also mentioned that Video Messages, the ability to record a clip and send it to your contacts, will be coming to all Skype clients soon. Neat.
Skype for Windows 8 will be available in the Windows Store on — surprise — October 26th.
Source: Skype - The Big Blog, The Verge