Skype 7.0 is dead, long live Skype 8.0

26 July 2018   By Aly Johnson

Skype users have until September to upgrade to Skype version 8.0, or they'll be cut off, says Microsoft.

As of 1st September, 2018, if Skype for desktop users haven't upgraded their software from Skype version 7.0 (also known as Skype classic) to the new Skype 8.0, they will no longer be able to use Skype's service, the team announced in a blog post last week.

Skype version 8.0 will replace Skype classic in two months, and all Skype users are being encouraged to upgrade early to avoid any inconvenience, come September, when Skype classic is shut down for good.

Whilst upgrading software is nothing new, what is different is the way in which Skype have approached this upgrade. Previously, old versions have still been available for users who have yet to upgrade, but not this time. Upgrade or lose it, customers have been warned.

skype wallpaper

What's new in Skype 8.0

Skype claim that version 8.0 is their most powerful, intuitive and flexible version of Skype yet.

  • It has free HD video and screen sharing calls.
  • More productive messaging, meaning customers can easily grab someone's attention in a group chat with the @user feature.
  • Users can find files, links and photos from weeks ago in the chat media gallery.
  • Users can share up to 300 MB of photos, videos and files with other users by simply dragging and dropping them into the conversation window.

But that isn't all. Over the summer the team at Skype will drop new features in to sweeten the deal. New features such as:

  • Version 8.0 will be available for iPad.
  • Read receipts will be introduced to allow users to see who has read their messages (a particularly useful feature in a group chat to ensure all participants are caught up).
  • Private conversations - thanks to end-to-end audio calls, text messages and file sharing.
  • Call recording - no longer are users limited to taking snapshots of worthy moments in their conversations, they will soon be able to record segments for posterity too.

How to upgrade

For users who have opted to allow Skype to automatically update their system to version 8.0, they need do nothing. But for those customers who have disabled this default setting, they can upgrade to version 8.0 from within the Skype app itself.

Simply select 'Help' from the toolbar followed by 'check for updates', or download it from Skype's homepage. The download is quick and easy and all account information is automatically and securely synced to the latest update, including the password, contacts and conversation history. Nothing is lost in the process.

Skype alternatives

Skype 8.0 hasn't been greeted with open arms from all users however. Complaints have come in about the garish new look, the inability to have multiple conversation windows and the removal of the basic 'available/invisible' button.

Useful Guides

For those customers who don't want to upgrade, they have a wealth of different communication platform options to choose from:

  • Viber - this offers free text messaging and video calls for both desktop and mobile.
  • WhatsApp - free text messaging, voice and video chat is available to mobile users.
  • Talky - a free, browser-based chat for up to 15 people, no dedicated software required.

This isn't the first time that Skype have tried rolling out version 8.0 for desktop, they attempted it last year but were met with a barrage of abuse from customers, so backtracked to work on the issues raised. But they're back again, bigger, stronger and promise they have listened to customers' feedback.

Skype acknowledge that change can be hard, and they vow they have done their utmost to make the transition for all users, to version 8.0, as smooth as possible, because Skype 7.0 has to finally be laid to rest.

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