So, I learned another thing today about Skype for Desktop - there is a "Compact View". I didn't know that - I tried to disable the panel with the big video ads, but if you look at the View menu, there's checkboxes next to Skype Home and Profile, so I thought you should just uncheck them, but the checkboxes actually act like radio buttons, in that you must have one selected. I didn't even notice the "Compact View" option just a bit further down. So, now I can tolerate the smaller banner ad in compact view. Acceptable. I apologize for not realizing that sooner.