Microsoft Unifies the Skype Desktop Client Experience
The differences between the Windows and Mac versions of the popular VOIP software continue to erode as Microsoft pushes for a unified look and feel.Apart from some minor OS-specific differences, Skype users will be hard-pressed to tell the new Mac and Windows versions of the software apart, according to Microsoft. The software maker's newly released Skype 7.0 for Mac and Skype for Windows Preview provide a more unified experience. In short, there's less of a learning curve as Skype users switch from one device to another. "We've made the Skype experience consistent whether you are using your mobile device or your desktop PC," wrote Tom Huang, a Microsoft product marketing manager in a company blog post. "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." Skype's developers embarked on a yearlong effort to enhance the software's chat functionality, revealed Huang. The result is an optimized, picture-friendly chat pane.
"Photos in your new Skype for Windows and Mac apps show up as you'd expect, beautifully displayed for your instant viewing," said Huang. "On Windows, there's more spacing between contacts and chats, as well as message previews for unread chats, making it even easier to follow conversations." Shared Office documents and PDFs display as file icons that "make it easier to visually scan for and find different files in your chat history," he added.