It’s important to keep in touch with others, and Skype has become a valuable communication tool for both home and business users alike. The cross platform tool can be used to conduct text based chats with your contacts as well as audio and video calls. You can converse with your Skype contacts, but there is also Facebook integration which enables you to make use of your social networking contact list.

The recent desktop preview is the first big release since the acquisition by Microsoft and it is a radical overhaul for users who have been familiar with on the application. 

In line with the recent overhaul of the mobile apps, the desktop preview incorporates mentions and notification panels, something many other desktop messaging apps have already done. With the new "@mention" feature you can quickly see a conversation where you've been incorporated into their discussion.

The group call feature has had an upgrade. You can drag and drop photos into the call and you can react to anything shared or said in the call with emoji's. There is also a chat gallery to easily be able to find shared content, whether you've shared images and videos with loved ones or you are using Skype at work and have to access important documents as well.

The app has had a visual overall so you can pick themes as well to decide what colour suits your mood. For the moment this is a dark or light colour scheme, but with more options to follow. There's a brand new chat gallery, where you can find shared content, files and other information shared within your conversations.

This preview is designed for Windows 7 and 8 (the Windows 10 version will be updated automatically as it's built into the OS) or Mac OS X users.

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For both home and office users, Skype is an incredibly valuable tool and the latest additions are interesting improvements.