Windows 8 will, at long last, finally be available at the end of the week. But while the Windows Store continues to expand at a fairly rapid rate, a few apps have yet to make an appearance. As of today, you can check two more apps off of that list. Hulu has released its Hulu Plus app on Windows 8, and Skype announced that its official app will go live on October 26.
For years, people have complained about the performance and user interface of Skype, one of the world’s most popular instant messaging and audio/video chat clients. The desktop application has gotten better in recent years, but Microsoft – which acquired Skype last year – has completely overhauled the app for Windows 8. The interface has been transformed into something that it both beautiful and intuitive, and it supports all of the features you’d expect from a Windows 8 app. Microsoft has also spent a significant amount of time rearchitecturing the backend of the service, combining it with the Windows Messenger backend for less reliance on peer-to-peer networking.
Like Skype, the Hulu Plus app was designed specifically with Windows 8’s new user interface in mind. The ability to pin your favorite shows is one of the cooler features, letting you instantly see when new episodes are available. The only odd design choice is the inclusion of a search button on the main menu, rather than simply relying on Windows 8’s built-in Search Charm – which it also supports.
Personally, I’m still eagerly awaiting the new update for the Xbox Music app, which will bring with it free ad-supported streaming and a host of other features. How else are you going to listen to that new Halo 4 soundtrack?[Skype | Hulu]