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Microsoft needs every edge it can get in the next stage of the operating system battle, will a new version of Skype encourage Windows 7 users to upgrade? 

Windows 8 Awaits Your Call

Skype for Windows 8 was announced today by Microsoft, bringing a dedicated version of the voice over IP client to the tile-heavy new OS. Naturally, it follows that dynamic with friends and call information arranged in those neat little squares, and the app will be an important part of the future cross-device Windows OS on phone and computer. 

But a new UI style alone wouldn't get anyone to migrate. So, the new app also features a full-screen video chat function and a multi-mode approach with messages and links you might be sent accessible even as you talk. You can also run the video chat alongside other app windows so you can discuss content, a document or other element. 

Good to Talk, Anytime

To work in the modern, always-on era in tablets and other devices, Skype will run happily in the background with zero battery cost and the app will alert you, whatever you're doing, when a call comes in. Expect the app to be one of the many features that Microsoft uses in its marketing approach

Integrated with your contacts, Skype may well get a user boost as more people find their friends using the service. Those who pay to use Skype will find their credit handily displayed on the new dialler along with recent calls. It will be one of the first apps available for the new OS on Friday. Read more details on the Skype blog