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VOICE OVER IP (VoIP) and chat service Skype has rolled out the latest version of its popular client software today, Skype 6.0 for Windows and Mac OS X.
The software update brings a host of new features including support for signing in through Facebook for Windows users and Retina display support and multiple chat windows for Apple users.
"You can now sign into Skype using your Microsoft or Facebook account," Skype's beta programme manager Raul Liive said in a post on its blog. "There's no need to create a new Skype account. This makes it even easier to connect with friends on Skype without having to set up another account."
For subscribers to Microsoft's services like Hotmail, Outlook.com and Windows Live Messenger, the new Skype 6.0 will allow you to communicate with other subscribers of those services all in one place via instant messaging.
Liive said that Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, is also working on a feature that will enable audio and video calls to Windows Live Messenger customers using Skype desktop clients, and that will be available "in coming weeks".
As well as these three major improvements, the Skype 6.0 client software has been localised for six more languages on Windows, including Thai, Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian, Catalan and Slovak.
As for Apple users, Microsoft has added support to open chats in multiple windows as well as support for the Retina display. "Now you can take full advantage of improved usability and of higher resolution screens," Skype said.
The overall interface of Skype 6 has also had a makeover on both Windows and Mac, making it simpler and less cluttered. The look of the instant messaging and SMS areas is also improved, and the online user counter has been removed so that more friends can be seen in the program's contacts window.
Skype announced Skype for Windows 8 on Wednesday, which will be released along with the operating system on 26 October.
The firm detailed the app ahead of its release later this week, giving us our first glimpse of the restyled client application.
The redesigned app ties in nicely with Microsoft's Windows 8 user interface, displaying contacts and favourites in tiles as well as integrating Microsoft's People application, which lets you see your contacts' latest Facebook status and pin your favourite contacts to the Windows 8 home screen. µ
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