Skype has today released a new update for its Mac client, bringing the software up to version 5.8. According to the Skype blog, the update brings with it full compatibility with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, as well as a number of significant updates that were previously only available to users of the Windows client. Among the changes, particularly for those who subscribe to the premium Skype service (available for either $48 for the year or $9.99 on a monthly basis), is an ability to host group chats of up to 10 users.
There is also a revamped user interface which allows users to reposition and resize their contact list. The new Mac client is also able to reorient the screen when users are talking to someone on a mobile device that is flipped between portrait and landscape. Skype is also working on separate chat windows and additional mutiple contacts for future versions of the Mac software.
The update with full Mountain Lion functionality is particularly timely, given that Apple has recently announced that the next iteration of the Mac OS will be made available to the public in July.
Skype, once the ruler of the online video chat experience, is obviously continuing to work hard in an effort to attract Apple users who now have Facetime as a particularly enticing alternative to Skype. With Apple recently announcing that Facetime will be allowed over 3G connections in iOS 6, a service that Skype has been offering for a while now, Skype will no doubt be keeping tabs on what Apple is doing, and will be making a concerted effort to encourage Apple users to their software, so look out for an aggressive OS X and iOS software update schedule from Skype in the future.