Skype for Linux Alpha uses a responsive UI and supports sharing files, photos, and videos, and ships with a new range of emoticons.
The new version is not fully functional yet and the developers want Linux users to test the app and provide feedback:
"As we develop this new version of Skype for Linux, we need you to test, provide feedback and help us prioritize features. You will notice that with the Alpha version of Skype for Linux, which uses our next generation calling architecture, you will be able to call your friends and family on the latest versions of Skype on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, but you won’t be able to make or receive calls to and from the previous versions of Skype for Linux (126.96.36.199)".
The announcement also mentions that you can now make one-to-one and group voice calls from a Chromebook or Chrome on Linux, using web.skype.com, this also being in alpha.
Video and landline calls are also on their way to Chrome for Linux and Chromebooks. Since Skype for Linux Alpha is basically web.skype.com with desktop integration (notifications and a tray icon / appindicator), these features aren't yet supported by the new application either.
I should also mention that Skype for Linux Alpha can be installed in parallel with the old Skype version, so there's no need to remove the stable Skype to install it.
Download Skype for Linux Alpha
Download Skype for Linux Alpha (deb and rpm packages available)
For Arch Linux, you can install Skype for Linux Alpha via AUR.