The Microsoft Skype team announced today that it started to roll out an updated version of Skype 126.96.36.199 that will replace Skype Classic (version 7.0).
Microsoft reveals in the announcement that any Skype version that is not the latest version that Microsoft released -- version 8.0 at the time of writing -- will stop working after September 1, 2018.
To avoid potential service interruptions, Microsoft notes that users and system administrators should update older versions of Skype to Skype 8.0.
Microsoft released the first version of Skype 8 in October 2017 to the public. The release caused a bit of confusion on Windows 10 systems as Microsoft wanted to enforce the use of the Skype UWP (Universal Windows Platform) application on devices running Windows 10 version 1607 and later.
In other words: Skype 8.0 was only available for Windows 10 version 1511 and earlier, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 officially.
System administrators and users can download the new version of Skype from the official website but the new version won't install on newer versions of Windows 10. The upgrade FAQ that Microsoft published has a "launch Skype to Upgrade" button that users may activate on the page to start the upgrade process this way.
System requirements for Skype have not changed. Skype 8.0 requires a 1 GHz or better processor, 512 MB or more RAM, and a DirectX 9.0 compatible video card.
Skype migrates data such as the contacts database, history, credentials, and shortcuts to the new version of Skype. Users need to be aware, however, that only the conversation history of the past year will remain accessible inside Skype.
History that is older than a year will be saved to a file on the local system that can be opened outside of Skype only. Users are asked to select Menu > Application Settings > Export Chat History to find the history file on the local device.
The Skype team notes that Skype 8.x offers new and improved features:
The team teased a list of upcoming features next to that that will come later this Summer:
Some of the upcoming features look interesting. Support for private conversations using the Signal protocol or call recording (with the caveat that it supports cloud saves only) look the most interesting in my opinion but others may find read receipts, invites, and group links useful as well.
Now You: Do you use Skype?
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.