Microsoft's UWP Skype apps have a bit of a mixed history. Back on Windows 8.1, the program was notoriously unreliable and inferior to the win 32 version. On Windows 10, things are a little different, and a number of feature upgrades have made Skype UWP a worthy competitor.
It appears that Microsoft has even polished the app enough to consider an Xbox One release. Skype Preview has been showing up in user's “ready to install” lists, but you can't download it just yet.
The addition suggests that Microsoft is looking to release the preview soon, opening it to thousands of new users. According to Xbox One platform chief Mike Ybarra, the move came from community feedback.
“We're always listening to feedback from the community on what apps they want on Xbox. We do this for not only our own apps but popular 3rd party apps as well,” he told Windows Central. “We've seen feedback from the community wanting the updated Skype UWP and we're bringing that update to Xbox One.”
Current Skype for Xbox App
The community demand for Skype doesn't come from lack of the app, as a non-UWP version has been available for a while. However, the current version is isn't updated as frequently and doesn't have all the features of UWP. It appears that Xbox One users believe the new app to better, which is a great for Microsoft.
Skype Preview will ensure a level playing field across Xbox One, PC, HoloLens and tablets. The app can receive regular updates without the need for changes to each platform, as well as security fixes.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has not released many details yet. Traditionally, UWP Xbox apps haven't supported the Snap mechanic. This allows users to multi-task apps while playing a game, and could be a deal breaker for some.
It's possible that the company has a workaround in mind, but it seems unlikely. Whatever the case, we'll keep you updated with the latest info as it arrives. If you don't want to check the site every day, now would be a great time to sign up for our new push notifications or newsletters.