rolled out on Monday a new version of
for desktop, and said it would end support for the "classic" version on Sept. 1.
Dubbed version 8.0, the updated edition of the groundbreaking video-and-voice platform includes new features, such as free HD video and group calls that can accommodate as many as 24 people. The new version also includes message reactions; @mentions for individual notifications in a group chat; a chat media gallery; and photo and video file sharing.
Microsoft says the new version is more reliable and has faster load times. Users can upgrade for free.
The software giant has also begun to roll out other new Skype features and will continue to do so over the summer. They include Skype version 8.0 on
, a feature that lets you see who's read your messages, encrypted audio calls and text messages and call recording, among other features.