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Skype desktop client offers side-by-side message chat and voice/video calls

Skype has announced the release of a new version for the Mac, Skype for Mac 7.0, as well as a preview version for Windows.

So what's new with this incarnation? Well, the desktop version has been brought more in line with the mobile client, in terms of the interface and new bubble-style chat design. Photos are displayed inline, message previews have been introduced for chats you haven't read yet with the Windows version, and there's more space between contacts and chats too.

When files are shared, you'll now see an icon denoting the type of file – basically things look nicer overall (or that's the idea).

But the big change which will please multi-taskers is that you can now message chat while making a voice or video call simultaneously, with communications being displayed side-by-side in the Skype window.

Also, the free group video calls which were recently introduced to Skype have been streamlined to work better.

Related: Skype finally brings free group chats to Windows tablets and 2-in-1 devices

If you want to grab the new client for the Mac, that's here, and this is the link to the preview version for Windows (remember, it's a preview of course, and not the finished item).