Skype gets updated in Windows 11, but will anyone care?

Skype redesign
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Ahead of the launch of Windows 11 on October 5, Microsoft has announced a major redesign to Skype, its other communication app alongside Microsoft Teams that allows users to join a group call using their devices.

When Skype for Business was retired earlier this year, many had assumed that Skype soon would be retired entirely, with Teams taking up the mantle.

However, it looks as though Microsoft is willing to keep both apps, despite some observers wondering if there's any point to keeping two apps with the same functions running concurrently.

What's coming to Skype?

Microsoft has detailed a bunch of new features coming soon to Skype, including a redesigned user interface that focuses more on customizable colors and a new view when in a video call.

The company also said that the app's performance has increased on desktop by 30%, while there's a significant 2,000% increase for Android devices when running this upcoming version of Skype.

TwinCam feature in the upcoming update for Skype

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Alongside being able to join a call on a web browser and changing your background when in a call, Skype will also give you the ability to use another device to join in the call so you can capture additional content around your surroundings. This feature is called TwinCam, which can allow a device to be part of the call through a QR code.

There's also the Universal Translator that can help you communicate with someone else in another language, over a landline or video call.

While these updates aren't live yet, Microsoft has said that they will be arriving soon, most likely in conjunction with Windows 11 arriving in October.

Analysis: why?

While it's welcoming to see Skype see a redesign and a bunch of new features, the elephant in the room is why.

With Microsoft Teams having an icon in the Windows 11 taskbar, there's been no mention of Skype by the company in how it will appear in the coming upgrade for Windows.

As both apps are in the same category and serve the same function, it was believed that Skype would eventually be merged into Teams, alleviating any confusion for users.

However, now that Skype is due to gain a huge update soon, one wonders if the Skype team may be spun off again into its own company. At present, there's no reason for two communication apps from Microsoft to exist.

With the marketing struggles that the company has had with TPM requirements for Windows 11, it may be best for the company to rectify why it sees the need for two apps to do the same function for its users.

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Via Microsoft

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter, 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.