Microsoft is rolling out a new look for Skype on

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft announced plans to add many new features to its free email service. While those new additions are still only available for a handful of users, today the company has started a roll out for a new design for the service's built-in Skype feature.

Officially, the new design is available as a beta. Here's what users can expect when they use the Skype chat feature:

"Clicking on the Skype icon opens the Skype sidebar. From here, you can see which friends are online, view recent conversations and search for people on Skype. If you're new to Skype, finding contacts is simple – click on the magnifying glass in the sidebar to search for and add contacts directly in""Pick up 1:1 conversations or group chats where they left off by clicking on the corresponding bubble on the right. Don't worry; all of your Skype chat messages are synchronized across all of your devices. Press the call button to make 1:1 voice or video calls. Before your first call, all you need to do is install our browser plug-in."

Microsoft says the new Skype design will be available for all users over the coming months.

Source: Skype

John Callaham