Microsoft is starting to kill Skype Classic today, but two versions of Skype are retained. Windows 10 includes a "Skype App" version of Skype, which has fewer features than Skype for Desktop and can be downloaded from the Microsoft website.
Yes, there are two Skype apps
There are two versions of Skype for Windows:
- "Skype for Windows 10" is included in Windows 10. It comes from the Windows Store. It's a UWP app, which has a number of limitations, unlike old desktop apps. This is called the "Trusted Microsoft Store App" in the Start menu and has a Windows 10 icon.
- "Skype for Windows" can be downloaded from the Microsoft Skype Web site. If you have Skype Classic installed, this version of Skype will be installed on your system shortly. It has additional features because it does not have to deal with the limitations of the UWP sandbox. This is referred to as the "desktop app" in the Start menu and has the traditional icon for Skype bubbles.
It gets confusing: Both Skype apps are based on the new Skype 8 code and are very similar. The downloadable version, however, offers additional features. You can both install and even run both on your system at the same time.
CONNECTION: Microsoft Announces Skype Classic on Nov. 1 and Here's Why People Are Upset
How to Download Skype from the Microsoft Web Site
Microsoft too really hide this download! To find it, you need to go to the Skype download website.
The normal Get Skype for Windows 10 option downloads the store version of Skype 8. To get the desktop version of Skype 8, click on the down arrow next to the download button and select "Get Skype for Windows" from the various Linux download options.
What is the difference?
At first glance, these apps look the same. Both are based on Skype 8, so it makes sense. But if you dig a little deeper, you will notice differences.
For example, the desktop version of Skype offers more options. Under Settings> General, you can automatically launch Skype with the desktop version at boot time and run it in your notification area (also known as the taskbar). The shop version of Skype does not have these options.
The desktop version also offers Cortana functions. You can enable responses, emoticons, and actions proposed by Cortana in Skype. You can also choose to personalize this Cortana or not. The shop version of Skype does not contain these options for any reason.
If you're upgrading from Skype Classic, the desktop version of Skype 8 can import your chat history. There's also the option "Export chat history from Skype 7.x" under Settings> Messages, so you can export the old chat history to a file on your computer if you want to keep it. However, this option is only available on Skype for the desktop.
The Settings> Messaging screen also provides an option that allows you to control the conversational text size, but for some reason only for Skype for the desktop. Only the desktop version of Skype 8 supports DirectShow camera devices required for applications such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and Xsplit.
The Store version only supports camera input using the newer Microsoft Media Foundation platform. If the store version does not find the camera input device you need, try downloading Skype for the desktop. (The traditional desktop version supports both types of input.)
Skype for Desktop also supports NDI, while Skype from the store does not seem to have this option. This is a professional feature that lets you use video from a network camera as a video source in Skype or even forward a recorded video to a Skype call. This option is available in Settings> Call> Advanced in Skype for Desktop.
You can tell the difference between the two options in the Settings> Help & Feedback screen. The store app lists both a Skype version and an application version. The desktop app lists only one Skype version number.
When we wrote this, the version of Skype for Desktop was slightly newer than the version of Skype available through the store, so Microsoft may also be updating the desktop version more often.  Store version updates are automatically installed through the Store app on Windows 10, while updates to the desktop version are delivered in the traditional Windows desktop style. In the desktop version, go to Settings> Help and Feedback to see if a new version is available. Skype automatically notifies you and prompts you to install new versions as they become available.
Skype 8 is now almost the same everywhere, from Windows 7 to MacOS to Linux. There is even a preview version of Skype for Web that now suits the design. Microsoft removes the last Skype 7 users and puts all users in the new version.
Should you bother downloading the desktop version?
Should you even care that the desktop version offers more features? Well maybe not. If you do not use any of these features, the store app version of Skype may be fine for you.
However, if you want more video sources supported, export a Skype notification icon for your saved messages. To launch Skype on startup and get text size options, you must download Skype for Desktop from the Microsoft Web site ,
We wish that Microsoft better explains the differences between the two Skype applications. We did not find any official documentation, so we just had to search the two Skype applications to discover the differences.