Microsoft is launching the new version of Skype for desktop – Skype 8.0, which will be replacing the previously active Skype Classic 7.0, from 1 September.

The new version of Skype comes with features like free HD video and group calls that could bring together over 24 people at once, the Skype team wrote in a blog post late on 16 July.

Skype has 300 million users and it doesn’t seem to be growing, due to increased competition from other video calling services, especially Apple’s own FaceTime, and even WhatsApp which allows video calls.

“We built Skype version 8.0 based on feedback from our community, adding exciting new features while ensuring it is simple to use with the same familiar interface of Skype version 7.0,” said the post.

Skype 8.0 includes message reactions, Twitter-inspired ‘@mentions’ to send individual notifications in a group chat, a chat media gallery and an option to share up to 300 MB of pictures and videos at a time over Skype.

The video-and-voice platform plans to roll out additional features later which would include read receipts, end-to-end encrypted Skype audio calls and text messages with hidden notifications, Cloud-based video call recordings with notifications for everyone present during the call, profile invites and many more.

It is possible that Skype thought of this as users today use third-party add-ons in order to record calls. Making this a native option should help users reduce the hassle.

Skype version 8.0 will also roll out for iPad users with features like quoted messages, personalized themes, and @mentions among others. Skype 7.0 will continue to be available till 1 September.

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