This looks like a promotional strategy to enhance user flexibility such that they can access the above mentioned profiles and contacts without navigating away from the Skype interface. But, if only it had included Yahoo messenger it would have then become the most esteemed desktop messenger (yes, a huge number of people still use it). Leaving that, the new features are good and let’s do a walkthrough now.
Upgrading to the New Skype
First and foremost, you will need to upgrade. So, launch Skype and browse to Help -> Check for Updates. That should upgrade the product. If not, you can download the latest version and make it happen.
With that done, when you start the latest version you should be able to notice the change. As you look at the new interface you will be able to sign in using a Facebook and/or a Microsoft account as well. That means a new user need not necessarily own a Skype account and an old user need not necessarily log in using a Skype account.
Working With Facebook and Microsoft Accounts Integration
If you choose to log in with any of those accounts you will need to provide your profile credentials. For Facebook, you will also have to allow some permissions. Two to three steps, towards the end of which your accounts and contacts will be merged.
Having done that, contacts from Facebook and Microsoft will become available on the Skype interface for chat and messaging. The best thing is that you will be able to switch among the different contacts groups on the go.
While you can already make calls to Facebook contacts from Skype, Microsoft has also mentioned that they are working to polishing a feature which will enable audio and video calls to Windows Live Messenger customers. And I have a gut feeling that it will happen very soon.
Some Other Notable Points
Among other updates, the noteworthy ones are:-
Its localized language support had grown from 32 to 38; now supporting Thai, Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian, Catalan and Slovak.
The look and feel of the instant messaging area looks sleeker that before.
The online user counter that showed on the bottom of the contacts list is no more there.
While changing a profile picture you will be able to select one from the list that you have already used. You do not have to look through local files.
Mac users will have the advantage of retina display and opening multiple chat windows.
That is all about the latest Skype update. We hope that there is something for each one of you. The Facebook and Microsoft Accounts integration does sound exciting. What say?