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Skype 6.0 available on Windows and Mac

Skype has released new versions of Skype for Desktop on Windows and Mac operating systems.

The massive VoIP platform announced the availability of Skype (Windows) and Skype (Mac) in a blog post (opens in new tab). It features a range of both cosmetic and performance-related changes.

All users will now be able to sign into Skype through Microsoft or Facebook accounts. New users signing up to the service can do the same, eliminating the need for creating a new Skype account from scratch.

Skype will also provide a base for instant messaging contacts on alternate platforms, such as Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail and

A feature enabling video and audio calls between Skype and Windows Live Messenger users is currently under construction and "will be available in coming weeks."

Aesthetic modifications specific to Skype for Windows include the removal of the online user counter below the contact list. Otherwise, in a move inspired by the imminent arrival of Windows 8 (opens in new tab), the platform has been simplified to give it a more ordered feel.

Localised editions of the service in six new languages have been developed for Windows operating system users, bringing the total number of languages supported up to 38. Alternating between profile pictures has also been made easier.

The enhanced product for Mac is one that supports Retina display. Chats can also now be opened in multiple windows. However, Skype has highlighted that the profile image picker on Mountain Lion does not currently work as it should, as recent images cannot be viewed and effects cannot be applied.

Skype has credited its users' feedback for several of the improvements it has made, and invites more feedback and discussion on its Support Network.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.