Microsoft Presses Forward with the New Skype

Posted on July 14, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Skype, Windows 10 with 38 Comments

Microsoft Presses Forward with the New

Despite some backlash against the new mobile Skype clients, Microsoft this week is pushing forward. And it’s updating the Skype mobile clients on Android and iOS, as well as Windows 10.

“We’ve received a lot of great feedback from the Skype community,” the Skype team explains. “We want you to know we’ve been listening, updating, and responding to your feedback.”

Microsoft announced its next-generation Skype client apps about a month and a half ago, and it issued major new versions of Skype for Android and iOS at that time. The Windows 10 app hasn’t gotten a complete makeover, yet, however, and even this week’s updates are evolutionary compared to what we see on mobile. I’m curious now if the feedback to the mobile apps has changed any plans.

In any event, Skype for Android and iOS has been updated a few times since that initial June release with contact and conversation deletion, the ability to multitask while in a call, and notifications. This week, Microsoft added more themes and colors, so you can personalize the experience more, and it has updated the UI for improved legibility and navigation.

“The goal for this next generation of Skype is to bring the people in your world closer together than ever before,” the Skype team continues. “And we know—especially with your help—it’ll continue getting better and better”

As noted, the Skype app for Windows 10 hasn’t received a huge makeover yet, but this week Microsoft did issue an app update that adds several new features. You can now start new conversations, see your profile, and visit the dial pad from the top of your recent conversations. And the new Skype now works with the new Share interface that was introduced in the Windows 10 Creators Update so you can easily share files, videos, photos, links and more directly from the app. And Skype for Windows 10 now supports reactions so you can easily express how you feel using an emoji-like graphic.

Microsoft promises more changes to Skype for Windows 10 in the near future.


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Comments (39)

39 responses to “Microsoft Presses Forward with the New Skype”

  1. david.thunderbird

    Oh goody. the last update voice started then 1/2 second lips moved. THEN a dead contact from almost a decade ago popped into contact list.

    Save us from the future, OBwan skype.

  2. Waethorn

    I stopped using IM a while back, except on PSN. Allo for a few people because of Google Search integration. I use SMS for most messaging because it's universal.

    I rarely do IM on any kind of desktop computer anymore, same with video chat, but I've used Hangouts on a few occasions. I just don't have time to sit there and stare at someones mug just to talk to them.

    • Stooks

      In reply to Waethorn:

      SMS, iMessage, Facebook messenger and WhatsApp (which is owned by facebook?) is what 99% of the world uses.

      Skype is dying and Google has a serious issue with its messaging strategy. Google needs to clarify its Android messenger, Hangouts, Allo/Duo strategy.

      • Minok

        In reply to Stooks:

        SMS is all I use.

        1) I don't have any acquaintences that also use ios, so imessage is a non-issue. (though I guess Apple sends 2 factor codes to me occasionally using its system)

        2) Anyone who sends me FB Messanger messages waits weeks to get a reply because I don't install that crap on my phone.. .if they want to force a separate app I'm not buying.. so the person waits till I'm sitting at a full computer and then happen to notice I have a pending message)

        3) Whatsapp... nope.. they blew that. I've got Signal installed in case I do need to send secure messages (when SMS isn't viable).

  3. Michael Farris

    What a pathetic misunderstanding of what young people want. When we work, we want simple, clean, and efficient interfaces. All this emoji and graphic nonsense is just pandering and we know better.

    Microsoft should just stick to what they know best: making dull corporate software for the 50 + year old crowd. There's nothing wrong with that.

    • Stooks

      In reply to Farristhewheel:

      US 50+ year old crowd....think these changes are lame. Personally I think Microsoft has destroyed Skype and I quit using it a while ago.

      Does your generation not use the dull corporate software at work?

      • Michael Farris

        In reply to Stooks:

        When given no choice, then of course we do. It's not like my work is full of young people who grumble about a lack of emoji in our company's CRM. At my corporate job, we run outdated Microsoft and IBM software, but at my second job (a nonprofit of about 35 - 40 people) we use Slack and Google Docs. Simple, inexpensive, collaborative, and we're all updated on the same schedule.

        • Stooks

          In reply to Farristhewheel:

          I am sure there is some difference between the two jobs.

          I mean would Slack and Google Docs be enough to replace what the outdated Microsoft and IBM software does at your corporate job? Or could updated Microsoft and IBM software do the same thing and probably improve things.

  4. nightmare99

    Who do the Skype team report to out of interest? They always just seem to do whatever the hell they want.

  5. shortydog

    It seems that Microsoft continues  to fix something that isn't working , point in case, Skype. As a long time user of Microsoft operating system's and other products, Microsoft seems that they want so much to be an anti-user friendly products company. Its been a long standing objective of Microsoft  to continue to do so. This continued action is no surprise to me. Talk about continuing to shot yourself, in the foot. Wow !

  6. crfonseca

    Did they add a way to see who's online yet?

    I mean, how hard can that be? The "old" version had it. Facebook Messenger has it. Whatsapp has it...

  7. allanwith

    In my limited experience with the new client, chat seems to work better than in the old one. It seems faster and more responsive and that is really the key to a good chat experience, if it holds up.

    Obviously, much of the stuff that is missing will be added back. And you don't HAVE to use emojis :o. But their priorities do seem a little odd to me, though. Perhaps they have been seeing a significant drop off in Skype usage? For me personally, the new stuff doesn't bother me a whole lot. But that is unfortunately, because I don't use Skype a lot, since only few of my friends and family use it.

    Personally I was mostly waiting for them to add the ability to use Skype as an SMS replacement app on Android, so I could have truly universal messaging. This coupled with the new backend infrastructure in itself would have been a good upgrade.

    I was also curious as to which role Skype played in the future of Windows on mobile devices... Say they launch what they call a "mobile pc" without phone capabilities, but with a SIM card for data. Then you still need something to make phone calls and send text messages... As for right now, you can't SMS to a Skype number, though, which would be a prerequisite for it to take over instead of my phone.

  8. davidblouin

    That one time i was glad that Microsoft updated an app on it's competitor's platform before it's own

  9. Minok

    Skype (Microsoft) really ISN"T listening at all, unless its to its own internal marketing/sales folks.

    I do not want to bring the world and me closer together than ever. Thats been the fight I've been fighting since day one. Ensuring that I'm only visible and reachable on SKYPE in those times when I choose to be available, not whenever a device is up and running. The consant 18 steps needed to exit fully from skype ("exit, quit, kill kill kill, no really ,exit damit!") are nuts. Then there's the "you need to log in again" that happens with every forced update which is followed by the (damnit, what was my login or my password, I'd not used them in months since the last time I was forced to do to a new version that didn't fix any of the issues that matter).. Its so much rolling versions for versions sake. <ugh>

  10. mariusmuntensky

    the new client is a total crap! not that I've ever used Skype too much, but now I won't be using it at all. There are other great alternatives that work much better and are not half baked. Congrats MS on another mediocre quality product.Good job Nutella

  11. StephenCWLL

    It's awful - hopefully there's enough settings to turn off a lot of the crap!

    • offTheRecord

      In reply to StephenCWLL:

      I made the mistake of updating Skype on my phone today. What a disaster this new version is. Part of what makes it awful is that there are virtually no settings to modify anything (at least none that I could find in the limited amount of time I spent poking around in the Snapchat-wannabe UI).

  12. wdowell

    I think it's a terrible shame. but there you go. Perhaps i'm too old now (!).

    My biggest grip is that the Skype Out calling no longer seems to work -it either fails, calming the number doesn't exit, or the sound cuts out after a second. Change the UX, sure, but tune my paid subscription into money down the drain.. not good..

  13. Rafael Rivera

    “We’ve received a lot of great feedback from the Skype community". Yeah, that one-star in the iOS store is great! What a delusional dysfunctional disaster of a team.

  14. jimchamplin

    Is there a particular reason the Skype team still makes Skype, and aren’t in charge of the bathrooms or something? They come up with this horrid new version, then can’t even be bothered with updating the Windows version.

    After they took over a year to deliver a UWP version. They could have even put the desktop app in the Store using the bridge but NO! Pitiful. Fire them.

  15. zybch

    Its a UI and usability catastrophe.

    Pretty much the only damn setting I'm allowed to change is the color scheme. It seems they are actively trying to drive ppl off the platform.

  16. SvenJ

    Can someone recommend a professional product for business VTC use. I rarely find the need to express my feelings with pop-up emoji during a presentation.

    • EricGHarrison

      In reply to SvenJ:

      We have started using for our video conferences (daily, with up to nine people so far). It has been rock solid. We had tried BlueJeans but we had reliability issues that drove us to try Zoom. Very, very happy with Zoom. We'll be doing webinars with it starting this week. Fingers crossed it stays as solid as it has been.

      • SvenJ

        In reply to EricGHarrison: Good to know there are alternatives. Hope MS pays attention to that. We have used GoToMeeting, but Skype is way more convenient and included in O365. Skype is an integral feature of O365 for Business. Would be a shame if they dorked that up. Hate paying for useless stuff.

    • crfonseca

      In reply to SvenJ:

      I've been using Cisco's WebEx. It's not free, but it works great,

      • SvenJ

        In reply to crfonseca: Have used them too. There are alternatives, MS. There are already plenty of cute options for teenagers. Maybe you should continue to serve the enterprise. It's what you know best.

        • allanwith

          In reply to SvenJ:

          Skype for Business still exists and is a completely different app from Skype. It is being used in many enterprises.

          • SvenJ

            In reply to allanwith: Absolutely. We use it all the time, even between offices in the same building. They are however integrating capabilities between the two (I can hold a call between Skype and Skype for Business). I expect they are the same team, or at least closely integrated. Are you willing to bet they won't incorporate some of these 'features' into Skype for Business? The are representing that they are listening to feedback these days. They read this site. This is one form of feedback.
            When I'm chatting with grandkids, I'll use Skype, and may throw in a poop emoji. At work I don't need, or want, that s**t. I find Skype for Business works very well. Don't mess it up. That's my goal.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to SvenJ:

      In our office we use Ringcentral. They are VOIP phones with a meetings app you can use.

  17. rameshthanikodi

    I'm so mad Microsoft killed Live Messenger for this turd.

  18. Brumfondl

    "Microsoft threatens more changes to Skype for Windows 10 in the near future."

    Fixed that sentence for you :D

  19. Darmok N Jalad

    Yeah, we use the iPad to Skype with family, and getting a proper connection is always a crapshoot, and I don't know if it has ever happened on the first try. It usually goes something like "we see you, can you see us?" or "I can hear you, but I can't see you." to "hang on, I'll call you back and we'll try again!" It shouldn't be so hard to just run a video chat.

    Fortunately, Skype for Business seems more reliable, but then again, there's no video involved, just sharing a screen.

  20. HAF1

    Microsoft has destroyed Skype. It has nowhere near the user population it had prior to the purchase by MS and they are gradually removing any useful and competitive value or feature the service ever had. It is bewildering why MS ever bought Skype to begin with. No evolution of the service that they have pushed on to the user community has developed the service forward to an improvement.

    Microsoft has put Skype on a clear path to extinction.

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