It wasn't bad enough that Skype nagged me with "your current version will soon stop working" every time I brought up the GUI. When I ignored the upgrade requests is started popping up notices even when I wasn't using Skype.
So I finally bit the bullet and did the upgrade to Skype version 188.8.131.52. As far as I can tell, the changes are only cosmetic.
Changing the font size is non-standard. In Chrome, Firefox, my email, etc, you can increase/decrease the font size with CTRL+/CTRL- or by CTRL-SCROLL. But in Skype you have to CTRLSHIFT+.
There is still no way to block unwanted contact requests (something that I could do in Skype before MS bought it). Of the hundreds of contact requests I have received, there were none that weren't spam.
Every message is now being terminated with a smiley emoji. There doesn't appear to be any way to disable this.
There is no longer a splitter control separating the contacts list from the message pane. As a result I am now wasting 2/3 of the space in the left pane.
So I wonder what improvements were made that required me to update?