Microsoft Abandons Skype on Some Desktop and Mobile Setups
Addressing the unsettling news about Skype
Microsoft recently announced a decision to remove some of the versions of Skype, its mobile communications app, to prepare for the launch of a new re-designed app, alongside the relaunch of Skype for Business. The change will see Linux support being removed from all versions that came before v4.3, and users are already being sent warnings that they’ll need to either update, or lose functionality.
The new version of Skype is basically the same as the web version, but scaled down. It lacks some of the older native features that users would have had access to, such as screen sharing. However, many Linux users will simply be glad to have a modern version of the app at all, as they’ve frequently been left behind by Skype in the past.
Farewell Linux Support
As of the 1st of July, this year, alongside the Linux version of Skype, all support for TV Skype clients will also be abandoned, and with it, any support for Windows Phone 8.1, 8, Windows RT, and the app for messaging in Windows 10 Mobile.
The latest news is simply setting out a timeline for a decision that was made a long time ago, as the company began to move more aggressively from a peer-to-peer solution, to a cloud based infrastructure. Though the messaging app on Windows 8 and Windows 10 has escaped the cut for now, as the latest version of Skype as a Universal Windows app connected in Windows 10, it’s just a matter of time.
The Changing Nature of Skype
It’s clear to see that Microsoft has slowly been making changes to Skype ever since they originally bought it. Pre-Microsoft clients no longer work with the application, and a large collection of plug-ins that were developed by third-parties have been completely removed as the company moved towards greater parity between multiple versions of the same app.
Perhaps the most significant feature to note here is that Skype for TV, which was originally slated for being cut last June. At first, this was an idea that sounded pretty great on paper, and lead to a collection of fantastic smart televisions with built-in webcams, designed to unite families across the world. However, the truth was that the number of affected users by this cut is likely to be minimal, as alternative apps can easily fill the void.
Microsoft is currently in the process of emailing anyone who might be impacted by the upcoming change, to give them an insight into their options. The chances are that a Windows 10 pitch is likely to be a strong feature for anyone who does get one of these emails, as it helps people to move away from older versions of Skype.