Skype in 2017—a year of highlights and milestones

This year has been full of exciting changes at Skype—with many new features and designs released in 2017. However, what has been most important for us is the feedback and input from our valued customers all over the world that helps us shape Skype. As we look forward to bringing you more features in 2018, here are some highlights of our 2017 milestones.

A brand new Skype on mobile and desktop

One of the biggest feature updates in 2017 was the release of the next generation of Skype for mobile in June. This release introduced a customizable, colorful design, a camera at your fingertips, and new ways to express yourself with reactions, and frames. We also added intelligence into your chats by integrating Cortana—the Microsoft virtual personal assistant—directly into the chat window. You can also now transfer funds via Money—a new Skype feature for friends and family using PayPal—right from within your Skype conversations.

These changes were brought first to Skype mobile and desktop clients and are now available in the new Skype for Windows 10. We are in the process of rolling out these updates to Skype for Mac, Windows 10 November Update (2016) and lower, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Linux.

All of these updates were inspired by a simple goal: to make Skype the center of your important conversations with your personal networks and, hopefully, empower you to turn your everyday conversations into experiences. To access these new Skype features, please ensure you are using the latest version of Skype by updating your mobile and desktop applications.

Innovations to help you get more done

This year has been a year of innovation at Skype, with new features, bots, and devices designed to enhance your day-to-day experiences.

Skype Bots—In 2017, we introduced several new bots with expanded capabilities to help you do everything from cook the perfect meal, race to the finish line with some of the world’s most accomplished athletes, or join Doctor Who on a quest to save the universe! In the coming year, look for more productive and enriching experiences directly via Skype.

Skype Professional Account Preview—This year also marked a milestone for self-employed working professionals who already utilize Skype to communicate with their customers. The Skype Professional Account desktop client (currently in preview in the U.S.) brings powerful new features to Skype—making managing your online business a whole lot easier. In addition to meeting with your clients on Skype, you can now book meetings, accept payments, and keep notes—all in one place.

Skype Translator—Skype Translator is now available for real-time voice and video calls in Japanese—bringing the number of real-time spoken languages to 10. Other spoken languages available on Skype Translator include: English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Arabic, and Russian. In addition, there are also over 60 IM languages available for Skype Translator.

Ambient devices—This year, Skype officially expanded to ambient devices—giving you a new, uniquely intelligent platform for Skype calling that extends beyond PC and mobile devices. The Harman Kardon Invoke speaker, with Cortana by Microsoft, is the first of these devices embedded with easy, voice-activated Skype calling to your Skype contacts, phone contacts, and local businesses.

In addition to Skype-to-Skype calling, which is always free, Invoke also features unlimited free outbound calling from the U.S. to mobiles and landlines based in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands. Restrictions apply—please read the Terms and Conditions of the full offer.

Skype Lite and SMS Insights—For our Skype Android customers in India, we introduced Skype Lite—a new lightweight version of the Skype app, optimized for 2G and unstable network connections. And based on your feedback, we added SMS Insights to Skype Lite—making life even easier for people on the go. SMS Insights goes far beyond simply organizing your messages—it aggregates the information you need and presents it at a glance, sorting it into categories like Finance, Shopping, Travel, Reminders, and Promotions. Easily interact with the messages you want while Insights offers relevant action links that allow you to pay bills, check in to flights, and even call customer support numbers.

Personal expressions—We had fun teaming up with Rogue Octopus, Steve Aoki, Hammer Films, Lucasfilm, and more to create original Skype Mojis and emoticons. Check out our new holiday-themed emoticons, frames, stickers, reactions, and Mojis to help you spread holiday cheer this December.

Momentum and awards—In 2017, Skype crossed a major milestone—surpassing one billion downloads from the Google Play Store. Additionally, after years of pushing the boundary of broadcast television with studio-quality Skype call integration, our Skype TX team was a recipient of a Technology & Engineering Emmy® Award in 2017. We are humbled by both honors and further motivated to continue providing reporters, entertainers, and consumers the next level of broadcast and communication innovations.

Amazing ways you have used Skype

Finally, here are some of the amazing ways you’ve been using Skype this year—from traveling all over the world, to developing brand new technologies, or even running unique businesses. We are continuously inspired by the different ways you use Skype every day.

Browse our blog for more inspirational ways that Skype is used—and if you have a Skype experience you’d like to share, just tag us @Skype on social media and we might feature you.

We look forward to continuing to expand the ways Skype can make your life easier, more productive, and fun in 2018. We are committed to always continuing to innovate, listening to customer feedback, and pushing the boundaries of technology. Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey.

From our Skype family to yours, we wish you happy holidays and a wonderful New Year!