By Vamien McKalin | Nov 08, 2012 12:06 PM EST
Skype for Windows 8 is out and it is evident that Microsoft is transferring its DNA into the Skype ecosystem. It took the company long enough to make a move like this, which began with Skype's full integration in Windows Phone 8 and now an attractive-looking Skype app for Windows 8.
Microsoft spent $8.5 billion on purchasing Skype back in 2011, it was apparent what the company wanted to do long term; however, it only took Microsoft over a year to bring those ideas into focus. Currently, Skype for Windows 8 is one of the best applications in the store, it is not perfect by any means, but when it comes to doing the basics this application does a great job.
Look and Feel
The first time the Windows 8 user fires up Skype, they will notice just how much the app has changed when compared to the desktop version. The design is all Metro or Microsoft Design Style, the name the company has given the once Metro UI. Everything here is easy accessible, there are no settings, no page for advance users, just pure simplicity.
The app also requires a Microsoft account to sign in and if users have one already, the option to merge both the Microsoft and Skype accounts will be available.
Skype for Windows 8 has all the basic features a user would need to do Skype things. Calling a fellow Skype companion is easier than ever and calls are as clear as one would expect of a Skype application. Making video calls is possible, here as well, and there is nothing different compared to Skype on the desktop that many users have come to love over the years.
Sending an instant message (IM) is quite easy, but this is where the disappointment begins to trickle in. Users do not have any way to send or receive files with Skype for Windows 8, whenever the user tries to receive a file from a friend, the following message comes up:
"[User's Name Here] would like to send you a file. This version doesn't support that yet ."
This missing feature means that users will be forced to go back and forth between the desktop version and the Windows 8 version of Skype. Or, some users may even prefer to stick to the tried and tested desktop version of the app instead. Users on Windows RT on the Surface RT tablet, can do little else but wait till Microsoft updates Skype with the send and receive files feature.
Skype for Windows 8 lacks some features and some settings for advanced users, but that's what one should come to expect with Windows 8 apps. These apps are meant to make things simple and not troublesome.
It remains to be seen if Microsoft makes the necessary changes and the missing file sharing feature find its way back in a future update.
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