Welcome Skype for Windows 8: It's Fast, Easy and Beautiful

Skype for Windows 8 is almost here and we are incredibly excited by this important new version of Skype. This is our big step forward together with Microsoft to introduce a completely new Skype experience, which is designed to be always on, immersive, effortless and fun to use.

The team at Skype has been building on the Windows platform since the first release of Skype. With Skype for Windows 8 we’ve focused on how people are using Skype today, and re-imagined Skype for everyday communications across our global community.

Skype for Windows 8 is simple, fast and beautiful. View the video below to see a sneak peek of the experience:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJQWJnnQzYU]Focused on the people you care about

Skype puts the people and messages that matter most to you at the heart of our new experience.

Recent chat messages and calls are right there as you launch Skype alongside the people that you contact most often. We’ve made it simple and easy to add your favorite contacts so that they are only one tap or click away.

Home Screen
Skype has also made it even easier for you to call landlines or mobile phones directly, with a new modern dial pad. You can easily see how much Skype Credit you have along with active subscriptions and your recent calls all in one easy view.

Dial padAlways Reachable

On Windows 8, you can be always available and reachable whether you are using a desktop, laptop, tablet or convertible PC with Skype running seamlessly in the background without draining your battery.

You’ll be able to receive voice and video calls and chats even if you’ve navigated away to another app or to the desktop, enabling you to stay more connected with your contacts whatever you’re doing. Skype for Windows 8 will notify you about new calls and instant messages so you’ll always know when someone is contacting you.

Notifications on Start ScreenModern design

Skype for Windows 8 is fast, fluid and easy to use. In designing Skype for Windows 8 we wanted to build a truly modern Skype, as comfortable and easy to use with touch as it is with a keyboard and a mouse.

With Windows 8 we have built a new full-screen immersive and uncluttered Skype experience, but also bought other great new Windows features to Skype.

Once you’ve downloaded Skype from the Windows Store, Skype appears on the new Start screen as a live tile. 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.

Live Tile Missed Messages
Another beautiful way to use Skype with Windows 8 is to snap Skype side-by-side with other Windows 8 apps. Snapping Skype allows you to browse the web, photos or use maps while chatting with friends or family.

sawyWith Windows 8 Skype is alive with your most important calls and conversations, whether on the start screen, snapped alongside your browser or full screen immersing you in a video call sharing an experience with someone you love.

Skype and the People app

Skype brings your contacts front-and-center and makes it easier to connect with them regardless of whether they are using a desktop PC, a laptop, mobile devices or even a plain old landline. We’ve extended Skype across your whole Windows 8 experience by also bringing Skype to the People app. We think the People app is one of the coolest new features of Windows 8, and have focused on making it work hand in hand with Skype.

People Hub IntegrationThe People app is a modern take on the contact lists and address books of the past – but built for the way we all communicate today. The easiest way to think of the People app is like your cloud-connected address book. By simply logging into the Skype app with your Microsoft account, all your Skype contacts will show up in the People app.

The People app brings all your personal and work contacts together, alive with their social activities and photos. 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. 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.

You can pin the most important people to the home screen so that a conversation is only ever a tap or a click away.

The People app tells you what your contacts are doing whether on Twitter and Facebook or other social networks, so you can instantly engage and react to their latest photo or post by reaching out to send them a message or to give them a call.

We’ve designed Skype for Windows 8 to focus on the way you use Skype. Your conversations are more accessible to you than ever, and you can switch fluidly from chat to video or audio calls.

Join us as we venture into the future

We are very excited about our first release of Skype for Windows 8 – and we hope you are too.

Bringing Skype to a new platform is always both an opportunity and an adventure. We believe that Windows 8 is a leap into the future of easy and intuitive computing – we’ve built Skype to be with you on that journey and hope you will bring Skype along with you to share the experiences you care about with your friends and family.

As with any new app we build, we welcome your comments and ideas and we will be listening to feedback from our community and learning. This release is only the beginning, and we will continue to update the Skype app over the coming months through the Windows Store, improving the experience adding new features and capabilities.

Skype for Windows 8 will be available on October 26. You can find it on your new Windows 8 device and or download it from the Windows Store. To learn more details and to get tips about how to make your experience with Skype better than ever, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or join us and other Skype for Windows 8 users on the Skype Support Network.