If you see a version of Skype quietly disappear from Windows today, don’t be surprised: Microsoft’s finally taking action to clear Windows of some of its redundant software.
Microsoft is consolidating its Skype for Windows 10 and its Skype for Desktop into a single app, the company is disclosing in a support document. (Thurrott.com noted this earlier on Tuesday.) While the (formerly) two versions will now look a lot alike, Microsoft is also terminating a couple of features for right now until it can develop the new app further. It will still be known as Skype for Windows 10.
Here’s what’s new in the Skype for Windows 10 app, thanks to the legacy Skype for Desktop:
- Updated close options so you can quit Skype or stop it from starting automatically
- An improved Tray icon, informing you about new messages and presence status
- The ability to share files directly from your File Explorer
- Up to 9 video windows in a video call
- Background replacement
- The option to moderate chats
- Meet Now improvements
- Improved call controls
Microsoft also removed two features, which “are not yet supported on this platform,” the company said. (That, of course implies that they’ll be added soon ) The excluded features include the ability to share a chat or call via the Share charm, as well as synchronization with your Outlook contacts. Those are both fairly significant missing pieces.
Microsoft has an unfortunate habit of populating your Start menu with multiple versions of the same software, with everything from UWP (and Java) versions of Minecraft, to perhaps the worst offender, OneNote. Here, you can find a UWP version, a desktop version, as well as the version bundled with Microsoft 365.