Microsoft has unwrapped “the next generation of Skype”, a feature-packed update aimed at injecting youthful appeal into the venerable VoIP brand.

Dubbed ‘new Skype’, Microsoft say the new version of Skype add more personalisation, more immediacy, and more intimacy to the service.

“Life is busy and filled with too many options. Staying connected, with all this noise, can sometimes be challenging,” Microsoft say, without a single drop of irony, as they introduce their busy revamp that’s filled with too many options.

‘I’m not sure if Skype’s core user base will appreciate the Snapchat-ification of their favourite video chatting service’

And among those options is a brand new, innovative feature called “Highlights”.

“Highlights” lets you capture and share a picture or videos for a limited time. Your contacts can see your highlights, react to them, and then immediately forget about them, cos no-one actually cares that you’re waiting for a bus or eating doughnuts.

Just don’t call them Skype Stories, I guess.

But the fun doesn’t stop there!

Like being glued to the seat of a failing merry-go-round, Microsoft is insisting that what we all need to enjoy our Skype experience are emoji and colour reactions. Y’know, so that we can “easily express how you feel at any time”.

Clearly, in the age of ubiquitous social media, an avenue through which people can express how they damn well feel about everything and anything is what we’re all so desperately lacking. I don’t know why no-one thought of something like this sooner.

Maybe I’m cynical, Maybe being able to watch a 4 second clip of someone you forgot you knew walking to the bus will “make experiencing life together, every day, simpler”.

Heck, if you’re interested in learning more, you can take a nausea-inducing trip to the Skype mini-site (headache tablets not provided).

Me, personally, I’m not sure if Skype’s core user base — 87% of Skype traffic at any one time is made up of middle-aged aunts and uncles vainly trying to reach their college-age relatives — will appreciate the Snapchat-ification of their favourite, familiar video calling platform.

No Linux Support

Enough with the snark, Sneddon. The lovely Linux people want to know when they can try it.

Well, Microsoft says it is begining roll out of the new Skype worldwide starting today, first to mobile and then to desktop.

“It will be available first on Android devices, releasing gradually over the coming weeks, followed by the new version for iPhone. Versions for Windows and Mac will be released over the next few months,” they add.

And Linux?

Er… Only that’s it; there’s no mention of if, much less when, Linux users will be able to experience the (admittedly terrible) changes.

For a cross-platform communication service trumpeted as being “available everywhere, so you can go anywhere”, skipping an entire platform is a bit of an oversight.

Microsoft signs off their announcement by poking the penguin in the eye, saying Skype “…can be with you for all life’s moments, no matter where the world takes you—on your favorite devices, to smart speakers, and beyond.”

Just not if my ‘favorite devices’ run Linux though, aye?

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