Microsoft Skype gets another redesign; Snapchat-like feature killed

Microsoft says the new look gives you

Microsoft says the new look gives you"a full range of color expression with light and dark themes. Image Microsoft

Last summer Skype announced with some fanfare that it had overhauled its design. Not only is this meant to provide a central place for navigation for Skype users, but it should also strip it back to a cleaner interface. Skype is also ditching its interpretation of Snapchat stories called Highlights. It allowed users to post a thread of photos and videos for friends to view and react to with emoticons. They were then able to decorate the media with text or stickers and shared with Skype users, groups, or posted to the app's Highlights section. It has removed the Highlights feature introduced past year, and is bringing back a simple interface that is easy to understand.

Numerous updates simply "didn't resonate" with most users, it said. The company is planning to remove the less used features and will simplify the app's core functions like voice calling, video chatting and messaging.

In its announcement, Microsoft admits that calling "became harder to execute" and so the company is taking a step back to simplify the overall experience of using Skype.

Microsoft said it is trimming down features in the app to improve its accessibility, focussing on simpler navigation and a less complex user interface.

Users will have until the end of this month to download their Highlights before they disappear forever.

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Redmond-based Microsoft is planning a revamped Skype interface for both mobile and desktop.

Desktop users will see those three buttons and a fourth for notifications at top left of their screen, which Skillman says shows Microsoft is "connecting to the Skype legacy" and is "easy for long-time Skype users to understand".

Released in 2003, Skype was bought by Microsoft in 2011.

A modern look and feel give users the option to choose colors. "We toned down the visual range of the gradients and re-introduced a simplified Skype "Classic" blue theme-adjusted for contrast and readability", Skillman added.

When it announced the June 2017 updates, Microsoft told the BBC: "We know this was a big change and we welcome feedback along the way".

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