Back in October, Skype released the preview version for Windows and almost two months later they launched the final version for Windows 7. What updates does this version bring? Well, it brings important changes in design and user interface that some users hate.
In the preview version, many users complained that there was too much white space and that could become really annoying on large PC displays. Microsoft heard your call and in the final version, you can save up space by replacing user avatars with smaller icons and also size down the main chat window. However, these options are a bit hidden and you have to do a bit of a detective work to find them.
So, in order to shrink the Sidebar, go to View and select the Compact Sidebar View option. And if you want to reduce the main chat window, click on Tools, select Options and then click on IM & SMS dialog and tick Compact Chat View.
In regards to photos, they are now displayed as large thumbnails once you have sent them and emoticons are now much larger. This is not exactly the perfect choice because, photos and emoticons kind of dominate the conversation. If you use many of them, you have to scroll back through the conversation if you just forgot what your friend was talking about – which can get really annoying and make you waste precious time.
Talking about wasted space, Microsoft lost MSN to Skype because MSN had too much white space and now it seems they want to copy the MSN user interface over to Skype. However, Microsoft has corrected this mistake by adding the features that let you size down the main chat window and shrink the avatars. Those who want to save us space can use them while those who are ok with large chat windows and large emoticons can simply use the standard settings.
Thanks to the new dual panel you can now use the instant messaging feature while engaged in video or voice calls. So you can continue to speak with you friends and send them files via IM at the same time. Also, the interface for the group video chat feature has been improved thus making it easier to use.
Then, PDFs and Office documents can be easily picked up when you browse through your conversation by clicking on their icons. As stated before, space between contacts and chats has been increased. This change has probably been implemented especially for the new touch feature. Skype now sports touch-screen support, you can add contacts, call or friends or chat with you fingers.
Also, Skype and Lync users can now communicate through video and audio support. However, this feature is only available for this version of Skype and only for Lync users that have the 2013 version. So, what’s your opinion on the changes Skype for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 brings? Let us know in the comment section.