Microsoft Unveils New Skype Features

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has announced a range of updates to Skype. It's something of a surprise given the tool has taken a major backseat in recent years.

With remote working on the increase since the start of the pandemic and more people making video calls to friends and family they couldn't see in person, other services have come to the forefront. In particular Microsoft has put more emphasis on its business videoconference tool Teams, while many home users have switched to Zoom.

Some had even speculated Microsoft would ditch Skype altogether. Instead its promising changes both in user functions and behind the scenes. This includes the desktop version being "30 percent faster" and the Android version being "2000 percent faster." That's a slightly odd metric for a real-time service, but should mean fewer freezes and delays. (Source:

Clearer Displays

The most visible change will be to the interface, which Microsoft calls the "calling stage". Users will be able to see themselves on screen for the first time. There will also be a more useful display grid with a better arrangement for calls with multiple users and an option to remove audio-only callers from the display so that everyone else's window can be larger.

Another change is called "TwinCam", letting users add a second video feed on their account, for example using a smartphone as well as a webcam. The idea is to make it easier to show something close-up, for example when giving a virtual tour of a house, without the need to lug a laptop around.

Live Translation

Most of the other changes are somewhat gimmicky, for example letting users choose their own notification sounds and display icons to communicate a "reaction" in the same way as a text chat.

There will also be support on all devices for Skype's Universal Translator which, in theory at least, provides a simultaneous audio translation when people using different language speak to one another. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Do you regularly use Skype? Has the past couple of years changed the way you use video calling? What other features would you find useful?

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buzzallnight's picture

fix that would be good :)

Will this version still work on Win 7?

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keep doing it,
the first time in years I saw a story here first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!