Skype Update Links Your Facebook, Windows Live with Metro UI

SkypeSkype released a new beta version of their chat platform, which they claim will help users reach more of their friends and family.  How?  It lets users sign in with their Microsoft Account (Windows Live ID) and/or Facebook account.  They’ve also added support for six new languages.  The beta version of Skype, 15.1, is already out, and can be downloaded here.

So what’s new with this version of Skype?  It features a much simpler Skype UI for a fresh and clutter-free look.  It’s now easier to change your profile photo to a previous one you used, as they keep all your uploaded photos.  And with the integration of Microsoft and Facebook, linking your existing accounts is easier–no need to import contacts, Skype does it for you.  Some describe the new look as Metro-ish, or resembling Microsoft’s tiled user interface.

Speaking of Microsoft’s Metro UI, the company changed the name to Windows UI after a German company, Metro AG, called dibs on Metro as they use it for their company logo.  But to avoid confusion, developers still refer to it as Metro.  There’s still a huge chance Microsoft will change the name to something else when they officially release the full version next month.

Windows 8 featuring Windows UI aims to revolutionize PC use, as it is best used with a touch-based device as it has a tiled interface.  It’s what you can call an app-centric OS.  So far, people who tried the consumer preview are giving mixed reviews – some love it, while others hate it.

But back to Skype.  According to reports, the chat tool is getting ready to roll out a new feature that will enable users to send pre-recorded video messages that can be played at a later time by the receiver.  It’s kind of like voice mail for video.

Skype is said to be readying the video feature for the holiday season, but may be available as early next month.