Microsoft's Skype division rolled out a new version of Skype for Windows (version 6.1). The updated version is for PCs running 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. (This is not an update for Skype for Windows 8, but since users can run Skype in the Desktop on Windows 8, they can run this update that way if they want.) The 6.1 update allows users to call and chat with contacts directly from Microsoft Outlook; search and add contacts more easily; and manage accounts from a new profile page, according to officials.
In preparation for the discontinuation of Live Messenger and replacement by Skype, Microsoft is prompting Live Messenger users to merge their contact lists. Once a user does this s/he is moved automatically to Skype and cannot use Messenger any longer - at least not without a lot of support intervention on Microsoft/Skype's part. Users who accidentally or intentionally merge their contacts now may benefit from using Compact View in Skype when messaging their contacts.