Last Monday Microsoft published a page in its Skype blog to encourage all users to upgrade to the redesigned Skype 8.0 or above for desktop, and meanwhile announced that Skype 7 (Skype classic) and earlier versions would stop working within weeks.
“We are encouraging everyone to upgrade now to avoid any inconvenience as only Skype version 8.0 will work after September 1, 2018. As we roll out improvements, there comes a time when we must shut down older services and application versions. This is done to ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience, and that there are no quality or reliability issues resulting from old technology and new technology interoperating.”
Here are some of the new features that come with Skype version 8 for desktop:
- Free HD video and screensharing calls—Get together with 1 or 24 of your friends, families, or colleagues no matter what device they use Skype on. See everyone in high definition, view 1080px video, and share things together.
- More productive messaging—Express how you’re feeling by reacting to messages in conversations. Use @mentions to easily grab someone’s attention in a group chat. Simply type the @ symbol followed by their name to trigger a notification for them. You can easily find all your @mentions and get back to people in the notification center.
- Chat media gallery—Looking for the link or photo sent a few weeks ago? Chat media gallery makes it easy to find files, links, and photos that were shared in a conversation, whether it was yesterday or last month. No more scrolling through your chat history—just click Gallery under the chat name to see all the files, links, and photos in the conversation.
- Share photos, videos, and other files—Share up to 300 MB at a time over Skype just by dragging and dropping files into your conversation window.
Microsoft adds that it is working on introducing more new features in the next release of Skype coming late this summer, such ash read receipts, private conversations with end-to-end encryption, call recording, profile invites for calling people to join you on Skype, and group links for initiating a call or chat with multiple people.
The current version of Skype is 8.25, while version 8.0 has been released for some time. To install the latest version of Skype on your device, visit the Download Skype page directly, or select Help > Check for Updates from the top toolbar in the software you’ve installed to run the upgrade script. The updated version 8 will preserve your account information, including password, contacts, history and sign-in credentials. Yet, history older than a year stores only on your local device instead of in the cloud.
Skype 8 for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.9 or higher. If your Mac is running on older version of Mac OS X, you will not be able to use Skype after September 1. Refuse to upgrade the system on your old Mac? Or just feel Skype for Mac can be abandoned? Then it seems like uninstalling Skype is the only choice left with you.