Microsoft today highlighted Skype 8 and recommended that customers upgrade to the new software as the company plans to retire Skype 7, aka Skype classic, later this year.
Skype 8 includes free HD video and screensharing calls with up to 24 people, reaction options for messages in conversations and @mentions to get someone's attention in a group chat, a chat media gallery for viewing photos and links, customizable themes, a notification panel, and options to share photos, videos, and files over Skype that are up to 300MB in size.
In the future, Microsoft plans to add additional features that include read receipts, private conversations with end-to-end encryption, call recording, profile invites, and group links for initiating a call with multiple people. Skype 8 features are also rolling out on the iPad starting today.
Microsoft is encouraging all Skype users to update to the new 8.0 version of the software as earlier versions of Skype will stop working on September 1, 2018. Microsoft says it is discontinuing older versions of Skype in order to provide the best possible Skype experience with no quality or reliability issues.
Note: A previous version of this post listed the 8.0 update as new, due to the fact that Microsoft published a blog post announcing it as new this morning. Our readers have pointed out that Skype 8 has been available for some time, with 8.25 listed as the current version of the software.