Skype 6.0 for Windows and Mac released: is the bell tolling for WL Messenger client?

By Kip Kniskern | In News | Posted October 24, 2012 24 comments

skypeSkype has been busy along with just about everyone else at Microsoft this week, announcing a new Skype for Windows 8 client coming on October 26th , and today announcing the release of Skype 6.0 for Windows and Mac.

The new client features a number of continued integrations with Skype’s new Microsoft overlords, including the ability to sign in to Skype using either a Microsoft account or your Facebook credentials, “no need to create a new Skype account”, the ability to IM with Messenger friends, and coming soon, a feature “which will enable audio and video calls to Windows Live Messenger customers using Skype desktop clients. The feature will be available in coming weeks”.  In addition, the Skype blog lists a number of improvements to the Windows client:

  • Skype localized to six more languages We are excited to support our growing community around the world with new localized versions of Skype in Thai, Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian, Catalan and Slovak, bringing the total languages Skype supports to 38.
  • Visual user interface refresh We have refreshed and flattened the Skype UI with a simpler and less cluttered look. We have updated the look of the instant messaging and SMS areas as well.
  • Removal of online user count We have removed the online user counter at the bottom of your Skype Contacts list to unclutter the UI and make more space for your friends within the contacts list.
  • Display previously created profile pictures When you change your profile picture, we will now show you all of your previous Skype profile pictures so you don’t have to look through old files if you want to use a previous image.
  • Improved telemetry We are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of our product. To that end we are adding additional “opt-in” telemetry reports for users who choose this option: “Tools>> Options>>Advanced>>Tick “Help improve Skype…” The reports may contain your Skype ID and or Microsoft Account ID but we will not use it to identify or contact you.

… and there’s more about changes to the Mac client, too.

Once you download the new Skype (for Windows or Mac), you’re at first greeted with a reminder that Skype lives in a Microsoft world now, with a prompt to set Bing as your home page:

skype bing

After that, you’re up and running, and if you log in with your Microsoft account, not only your Messenger buddies but also your Facebook friends (that is, if you have Facebook added in Messenger) will show up in your contacts.  You can filter them from within the contacts list:

Skype choose contacts

We’re pretty used to the Messenger client, having used it since 2005 or so, and messaging on Skype will take a bit of getting used to, but we’re going to give it a go.

In a The Verge blog post about the upcoming Skype for Windows 8 client, Skype’s Derek Snyder was quoted as saying “For the last six months or so we have been moving people to the Messenger backend”, and today’s announcements seem to further our premonition that Microsoft is in the process of moving away from the standalone Messenger client, as they probably should, given the investment they’ve made in Skype.  By continuing to use the Messenger backend, which should allow existing Messenger users around the world to continue to use legacy clients, but moving forward with Skype as the new default interface for all of Microsoft (and other) messaging, Microsoft now seems to have a way forward.

Of course we’ll be a little sorry to see Messenger go, but it looks like its time has come.  We’re in the process of making a trial run of a switch to Skype, are you?

Posted October 24th, 2012 at 10:18 am
Category: News
Tags: Skype
  • http://questionanswerresponse.wordpress.com/ b4rtw

    Messenger is no longer on my laptop All Skype from now on

    • bnlf

      same since beta. no reason to have messenger. Skype is a lot better and i dont need to keep both open now. I wish it had addons support to integrate with gtalk as well.

    • Joscelin Trouwborst

      Me too.

  • bartw78

    Messenger is no longer on my laptop All Skype from now on

    • bnlf

      same since beta. no reason to have messenger. Skype is a lot better and i dont need to keep both open now. I wish it had addons support to integrate with gtalk as well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joscelin.trouwborst Joscelin Trouwborst

      Me too.

  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    I only have 1 friend who contacts me on Messenger, so I just use the W8 built-in messaging client for them and FB chat – there isn’t really any reason to use Skype.

    • Simon Johnny

      I’m still mostly using email these days but the few contacts I have on messenger that I need are family members. These family members use the picture share function to instant previews of images. I did try to switch to skype, but the lack of functionality and messed up way of combinding accounts/contacts it just seems like its a mess of an application that they’re struggling to mash together. Even basic things such as file transfers just don’t happen as they should across account types.
      Microsoft should go back to the basics if they want to move forward with skype. Start with a blank page, intergrate the services and accounts properly and build from there. Even with a lack of basic options it’d be better then the confusing mess they’ve dropped on the plate so far.

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    I only have 1 friend who contacts me on Messenger, so I just use the W8 built-in messaging client for them and FB chat – there isn’t really any reason to use Skype.

    • Simon Johnny

      I’m still mostly using email these days but the few contacts I have on messenger that I need are family members. These family members use the picture share function to instant previews of images. I did try to switch to skype, but the lack of functionality and messed up way of combinding accounts/contacts it just seems like its a mess of an application that they’re struggling to mash together. Even basic things such as file transfers just don’t happen as they should across account types.
      Microsoft should go back to the basics if they want to move forward with skype. Start with a blank page, intergrate the services and accounts properly and build from there. Even with a lack of basic options it’d be better then the confusing mess they’ve dropped on the plate so far.

  • garak0410

    How do I get Facebook chat in this new Skype release? Live messenger is working but I don’t see FB contacts and I have it enabled for my Microsoft Account. (using the Modern Skype in Windows 8)

    • damaster

      You need to connect Facebook with your Skype account. I don’t think connecting Facebook to Microsoft account carries over to Skype yet.

  • garak0410

    How do I get Facebook chat in this new Skype release? Live messenger is working but I don’t see FB contacts and I have it enabled for my Microsoft Account.

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      You need to connect Facebook with your Skype account. I don’t think connecting Facebook to Microsoft account carries over to Skype yet.

  • JohnCz

    I don’t think using Messenger backend is just about handling legacy clients, its about resilence, new capabilities and using a network that is tried and true. In my opinion, Messenger as a service (not the front-end experience) will live a long and happy life.

  • JohnCz

    I don’t think using Messenger backend is just about handling legacy clients, its about resilence, new capabilities and using a network that is tried and true. In my opinion, Messenger as a service (not the front-end experience) will live a long and happy life.

  • Hulmiho

    skype for RT released too. installed.

  • Hulmiho

    skype for RT released too. installed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robinvanveghel Robin van Veghel

    might seem a stupid question: but when u link your microsoft account to skype, in the people hub (on wp7.5) you get mutiple contacts with the same name (atleast i got that in the beta), you can also check if u get multiple contacts on the People page from outlook. Cause i don’t want to have like 2 hunderd people mupltied on people hub.

    • damaster

      You can link two contacts together in both WP7.5 and Outlook.com People.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robinvanveghel Robin van Veghel

    might seem a stupid question: but when u link your microsoft account to skype, in the people hub (on wp7.5) you get mutiple contacts with the same name (atleast i got that in the beta), you can also check if u get multiple contacts on the People page from outlook. Cause i don’t want to have like 2 hunderd people mupltied on people hub.

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      You can link two contacts together in both WP7.5 and Outlook.com People.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670105580 Phil Chan

    The lack of Groups (first introduced in WLM2011, not to be confused with group chat) support is the only reason I’m keeping Windows Live Messenger installed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670105580 Phil Chan

    The lack of Groups (first introduced in WLM2011, not to be confused with group chat) support is the only reason I’m keeping Windows Live Messenger installed.