The new Skype for Windows 8, featuring a new design, will be available with the launch of Windows 8 on October 26.
Microsoft designed the new Skype focusing on delivering an experience that is simpler, faster and easier to use. Skype for Windows 8 includes top Skype features like IM, audio and video calls. It also takes advantage of some of the new features and functionality of Windows 8 that put people front and center; including integration in to the People Hub, ability to pin favorite contacts as a tile for easy access and the Skype Live Tile that shows messages and notifications right on the Start Screen.
Skype for Windows 8 also takes advantage of all the Windows 8 features, such "snapping" so Skype can run side-by-side with another app; integrating with Bing allowing image searching and association inside Skype; and running in the background in a low-power-consumption but always-on mode.
The Windows 8 version of Skype is also less Facebook-centric, though Facebook integration is still a feature.
Skype for Windows 8 also will be preinstalled on select Windows 8 OEMs' machines. It won't be preinstalled on Surface RT devices; instead, it will be in the Windows Store for Surface RT.