Microsoft revamps Skype in a bid to do battle with iMessage


Skype's overhaul is coming to iPhone soon.
Skype's overhaul is coming to iPhone soon.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft is rolling out a complete top-to-bottom overhaul of Skype in an effort to do battle with the likes of iMessage and Snapchat.

Its revamped service combines familiar Skype features like instant messaging and international calling with third-party service integration, improved group chat, and photo sharing with the ability to add annotations and emoji stickers.

Skype is a popular platform — that’s why Microsoft splashed out $8.5 billion six years ago — but it doesn’t have quite the same appeal as services like Snapchat. It’s the primary choice for voice and video calling for many of us, but we don’t use it for much else.

Microsoft is hoping to change that with a fancy overhaul that adds new features inspired by more popular platforms. It incorporates everything you’ve come to expect from Skype, alongside Snapchat Stories-style “Highlights” and greatly improved photo sharing.

You can now draw on photos and apply stickers before sending them or adding them to your Highlights feed. And thanks to third-party services integration, you can enjoy YouTube videos and other content within your instant message conversations.

Microsoft has also added chat bots like Scoop, which bring breaking news headlines and more to your conversations much like Facebook Messenger.

Bloomberg reports that Microsoft will be rolling out its new version of Skype gradually, starting on Android. The iPhone version will be available “in about a month,” while Windows, Mac, and tablet updates will come later.

  • tr00don

    But the Skype fonts on iPhone are still crappy. Hey, what happened to UI guidelines, design, etc.?

  • DrMuggg

    But something and make sure it turns out as crap.

    This has always been MS Modus Operandi

  • Barry Marshall

    iMessage is my default messaging app on an iPhone. Snapchat and Skype are hardly used if ever since their interfaces are hell and Skype is just a pain in the arse even before MS bought it. MS is always trying to rope you into buying something you don’t need since it comes with the iPhone. It’s like their office suites and subscriptions. I don’t do them and refuse to prop up companies bottom line by subscribing to them. Apple is a hardware company and generally their hardware is pretty good and on the rare occasion they screw things up whereas MS is a software company trying to break into the hardware market, but their a software company and their software has and still is bloated, even when migrated over to the Mac platform, where as it shouldn’t be. Like their mail client. I use MailPlane, Airmail as my primary email clients. Apples Mail app gets used sparingly since it was a mess when I first jumped on the mac platform. I am using a trial version of Outlook but won’t buy it since it is just too bloated for the price.