Microsoft updates 'Metro-Style' Skype for better mouse, keyboard usage

Microsoft updates 'Metro-Style' Skype for better mouse, keyboard usage

Summary: Microsoft has updated its Windows 8.1 'Modern' Skype app so that it works better for users interacting with it using mice and keyboards.


Microsoft rolled out a new version of Skype for "Modern" (a k a Metro-Style) Windows 8.1 users on May 7.


Just as the operating system group did recently with Windows 8.1 Update, the Skype team also is focusing on making the app easier to use for those using mice and keyboards.

From a blog post announcing the new 2.8 version:

"(T)he modern Skype is designed for touch but we know a lot of our users have mouse and keyboard devices. As a result we are tightening the space between your latest recent conversations, which brings forward the contacts list and makes navigation easier."

The Skype team said that the new Metro-Style version also will start up faster and load more quickly on Windows 8.1 devices. The team also improved favorites syncing across devices as part of the new release.

The updated Skype for 8.1 is available in the Windows app store.

Topics: Unified Comms, Microsoft, Windows 8


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • I would like to get account with Skype for international call

    International call need an account
  • And in record time too...

    And it took them almost less than 1.5 years to do this! /s
  • Good gravy!


    Those programmers must have been working feverish overtime to move a bit of space around the GUI and add a few mouse elements in..what...2 years since it launched?

    WTF is going on at Microsoft? Why are they acting like a bunch of grade-schoolers with their leading technologies? You'd think that with Skype being one of their biggest selling points they'd make it fantastic...not ignore all the terrible GUI elements for 90% of their user base in their lead OS version for 500+ days.

    Good gravy...Microsoft is just sucking lately with delivery of good software for the desktop. Even now, today...they STILL can't deliver a touch version of Office for their own platform. What is going on?
    • Biggest selling?

      It is a free app, and the sales of Premium accounts and Skypeout minutes probably doesn't cover MS's petty cash needs...
    • You are missing the real work

      Microsoft has been working since they bought Skype to integrate it with Lync and now Yammer. Making systems talk to one another reliably that are coded in completely different ways is a monumental task in of itself. Rumor has it that they are close to having this done so now they are sprucing up the GUI.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • What the heck for?

    There is already a mouse and keyboard friendly version of Skype. It runs on the desktop. Yes there area few dozen folks with an RT tablet that weren't aware it was designed for touch and are indignant that metro is a touch first OS. They should sell their tablet and buy what they wanted, a laptop running Win7, or maybe a Win8 machine and a copy of Start8. Quit screwing with the touch/tablet side.
  • need the same for lync

    Lync needs some love
    • Totally agree

      I cannot believe how god awful Lync is in Metro. The UI is bad and it is so unreliable to where the iOS version works far better.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • why everywhere this boring user interface ?

    Web has rich user interfaces and a great diversity.
    Why they think that Windows users prefer the monotony ?
    steve me
  • how can they possbly say that...

    when the app is full screen making it as desktop unfriendly as it gets. Even DOS apps are better because they don't take up my whole screen.
    • Use the right environment

      Then use the one on the windows desktop, if you are on a physical desktop. I gets so old people complaining about how awful metro apps are on a desktop, and how awful the desktop is on a tablet. Use the side that makes sense for pete's sake.
    • W9?

      Could be they are prepping this and other apps for the next major update to Windows with the Modern Mix ability to run Metro apps windowized on the desktop.
      Rann Xeroxx