MICROSOFT HAS announced the biggest redesign of Skype in its history, with a new UI not dissimilar to Snapchat.
In other words, "the next generation of Skype" (for realsies) has gone from sensible business tool to looking like the contents of a child's stomach after a birthday party where it had gorged on dolly mixtures and cake and then vomited it all over the back of daddy's Volvo on the way home.
Other writers may be less kind.
The update, which is clearly inspired by the onslaught of more sociable rivals, has three basic sections - 'find', 'chat' and 'capture'. Find helps you find not just people but GIFs and the like, chat is the Skype you know but multi-colour yawnified, and capture sneaks in the best of Qik (remember that?).
A new Highlights feature also borrows heavily from Snapchat, just as Whatsapp did with its last tweak, with reactions to photo and video much like Facebook Live.
The Skype Team blog explains" "We want to help you deepen connections within your personal network. There's only one of you in this world, so now you can show-off your personal style by customizing Skype with your favorite colours. When in a conversation, you should always make sure your voice is heard, or more specifically, your emoticon is seen! By simply tapping on the reaction icon next to any message or video call, you can now easily express how you feel at any time."
And it's good news for Android users, as they will be the first to have Skype ruined, before it rolls out to iOS, Mac, Windows and in about 18 months (probably). We assume that a buggy version for Linux that only works on Wednesdays is also coming.
The rollout is happening worldwide, so for once, we're not going to moan about not being left behind enough in the UK. Within a few months, Skype as we know it will be gone and replaced with… well, this… thing.
Snapchat launched its photo-taking glasses in the UK today. Good, wearing them might blot out the glare of Skype.
With the likes of Facebook-owned Whatsapp and Apple's built-in iMessage, Skype has been struggling to find its place in the market. And that place appears to be an acid flashback. µ
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