Over the weekend, I noticed that the desktop version of Skype was being offered an upgrade, across all my PCs, that replaced that app with the modern version. Well, today I received some bad news: This upgrade is part of a forced upgrade cycle that will conclude on September 1, when Microsoft officially ends support for what the software giant calls Skype Classic.
“Today, we are rolling out an updated version of Skype (version 8.0) for desktop that will replace Skype version 7.0 (also known as Skype classic),” the Skype team notes in a blog announcement. “We are encouraging everyone to upgrade now to avoid any inconvenience as only Skype version 8.0 will work after September 1, 2018.”
Let’s all pause for a moment of silence here since this new Skype version does not include all of the functionality of the desktop application it is replacing. The most obvious of which is a multi-window mode that lets you access each conversation in its own window.
“There comes a time when we must shut down older services and application versions,” the explanation continues. “Everything about this new version, from the underlying performance improvements to the usability enhancements, is designed to keep you connected to the people who matter most. We built Skype version 8.0 based on feedback from our community—adding exciting new features while ensuring it’s simple to use with the same familiar interface of Skype version 7.0.”
Well, the same if you don’t use multiple windows, I guess. Instead, Skype 8.0 works like Skype for Windows 10 and other mobile Skype apps. It provides a single window only.
That said, Skype 8.0 does include most of the features and features that users expect from Skype Classic, like free HD video and screen sharing, photo sharing, @mention support, and more.
And Microsoft is also bringing Skype 8.0 to the iPad, and it is previewing some features it intends to add to Skype 8.0 (presumably across platforms), like read receipts, private conversations, call recording, profile invites, and group links.