Microsoft today announced an updated version of Skype for Windows 8 with better video messaging and HD video support. You can download the latest version now directly from Skype.com.

Current HD video support means callers can send up to 720p video and receive 1080p video. If you’re wondering how the latter is possible given the former’s limitation, remember that Skype is available on a variety of platforms, and Windows 8 is just one of many (and is still under heavy development).

While this should improve the overall quality and performance of the video call, HD video support is only available “in select scenarios,” according to Microsoft. These depend on the sender’s camera, available network bandwidth, and the receiver’s setup on x86 devices.

As for video messaging, Microsoft says the feature is still in preview (it first arrived about a month ago). Nevertheless, the company has improved its stability in this release, and also tweaked how notifications work so that video messages are easier to find for those who receive them.

Microsoft has also fixed the following issues in this release:

  • File transfer: Sender missing file sent history if restarts app before completing the send. Crash after the sender initiates file transfer and moves back to conversation.
  • Call connect: Crash when reconnect attempts in some situations.
  • Notifications: Crash when clicking on notification in some situations.

There are still at least two known issues in this release, both related to video messages: they aren’t displayed in chat history and their thumbnails redirect to record flow instead of playback when cache has been cleared. Microsoft has not shared a date by which it expects to squash these bugs or when it plans to take video messaging out of preview for its Windows 8 Skype app.

See also – Microsoft completes Lync integration into Skype, offers one unified communications platform for Windows and Mac and Microsoft integrates Skype into Outlook.com, starting in UK with full rollout in ‘coming months’

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