A Windows 8 version of Skype, and the first major overhaul for the platform since Microsoft’s acquisition, will go live on October 26.
The update will bring a completely new interface, making it look more in line with the new Windows’ “Metro” style. For now, that is the biggest change, but it is also laying the groundwork for where Skype plans to go in the near future.
The new Skype software is a symbol of exactly what Microsoft’s new strategy is these days. The company doesn’t just want to have its hand in every aspect of computing and video games, but it wants you to know that it has its hand in every aspect of computing and video games.
It used to be that you could own an Xbox 360, have a Hotmail account, and own a Windows Mobile device but the experience was almost no different than if you had a PS3, a Gmail account, and an iPhone.
Moving forward, Microsoft is going to have an incredibly strong sense of integration across all of its products and services, and the newly redesigned Skype program is one example of that.
For now, Skype includes integration with Microsoft’s Bing engine to provide local weather during video chats. So if you’re chatting with someone in Paris, you’ll see what the weather is like in real time.
Microsoft is also still tweaking integration with its Windows Phone platform, and there is widely expected to be significant integration with Skype and the Xbox 360 coming soon.
For now, the new Skype is mainly a visual overhaul but the more functional enhancements are certainly on their way.