The Skype client that Microsoft serves has almost always focused on the staple video and voice calls that made it what it is, but since mobiles quick rise in popularity, Microsoft has  started to shift the focus to target instant messaging. Skype replaced Messenger, and has recently had a updates to enhance its choppy chat quality across multiple devices.

Skype for Mac and Windows is getting a whole fresh take today, as Microsoft aims to modernize it for further monetization. If you’ve used new Skype for iPhone UI, then this latest iteration of the video chatting program for desktops will look and feel very familiar.

There’s a totally fresh and aesthetically pleasing bubble-like chat panel beside a thumbnail picture of contacts and large and very conspicuous icons for chatting and starting video / audio calls. The fresh look is miles more consistent with the overall feel of the mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone and makes for a uniform experience while also bringing with it some improvements to the chat functions. Images will now be displayed fully symmetrically, and the interface on Windows has been spruced up to get rid of spacing between contact names, heads and chats.

The biggest changes, quite possibly, could be the subtle ones that improve everyday use of the Skype app/program. On the Apple Mac end of the spectrum, there’s a new side-by-side interface for voice/video calls, which means you can still share images or send IMs while you’re in a call or video conference.

The video chat app’s UI on the Mac used to be quite a bore when you had to transition between instant messaging and calls, meaning that you had to hit a + button to get back to your chat screen. The icons are more intuitive now so you won’t be looking around anymore to navigate Skype for Mac. It seems as though we can’t find any negatives to this update, it’s a great, better Skype from all aspects.

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