Microsoft is Killing Skype Classic on September 1

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Mac and macOS, Skype, Windows 10 with 36 Comments

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.

You can check out Skype’s Upgrade FAQ for more information.


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Comments (38)

38 responses to “Microsoft is Killing Skype Classic on September 1”

  1. X911ty12

    Multi windows mode is a MASSIVE memory hog, but then again so is Skype.

  2. Winner

    To be fair, Skype has been acting like a very sick patient for a number of years.

  3. brianforllp

    I'll be honest, Paul. The new skype version is trash for "desktop" users. Your list of expected features is brutally slim. Video calls are flimsy at best. You can't view the chat window on a video call and the user listing at the same time. Chat notifications are horrendous. It goes on and on. My team, that's been using Skype daily for a decade+ is moving 100% onto Slack and/or Discord. It's game over at this point. Skype is dead to me.

  4. rseiler

    The Director of Design for Skype has issued a statement about the forced Skype 8 upgrade:

    "Upgrade! Not just for insiders...this is a big improvement and we hope you like it. We seek familiarity and not too much change plus aligning to mobile...and there is more coming as we focus on core tasks and simplicity improvements."

    Further commenting:

    "There are a large number of reasons including alignment with mobile, GDPR, accessibility, etc. This one we tested extensively in Houston, Sao Paulo and Kiev and it performed really well. There are a few things we WILL be adding such as multi window+."

  5. Waethorn

    Does anybody still disagree that Microsoft poisons any established business that they take on?

  6. Charlie Clare

    What happened to the Skype Creators Update that was announced some time back. I' work in the TV Casting industry and we do a huge amount of work interviewing people over skype, currently the only reliable recording software - apart from screen capture, is on Mac. 1000's of us are looking for a reliable Windows solution, but it has all gone quiet. As soon as it is released, I can sell the Mac Book Pro in my office, which only has one job.

  7. roastedwookie

    As usual for Microcrap..delivering half baked stuff. Stopped using Skype years ago. There are better alternatives.

  8. julesgilson

    No issue moving to UWP, but it should be done when there is parity between the two. The main one that is bugging me is there is no way to set "Away" timeout - or even see your status in the system tray icon... unless I am missing something?

  9. red.radar

    when They going to update Skype for business ?

  10. Skolvikings

    I have a niche based closed Skype group that I have participated in for years. With Skype 7.0, while a bear, I could relatively easily search through the conversation history months and years in the past for keywords. I just tried a similar search with Skype 8.0 and it was horrible. The results load in the sidebar instead of the main chat window. Worse yet, I crashed the application. Seriously, WTH are they smoking? I'll be in Bothell in a couple weeks and I'm afraid I might get infected with stupid while I'm there.

  11. Bart

    Does this affect Windows 7 users? Or is Skype 8 still very much a desktop app?

  12. DigitalNogi

    How will this affect TWiT? They have a Plan B?

  13. Ugur


    The "modern" Skype sucks. It is a big resource waste and one can't even select a range of text in a long chat or scroll using the scroll bars or do many other such basic things at good performance on a high end pc.

    This is a big bummer.

    • jrickel96

      In reply to Ugur:

      Disagree. There are issues with it, but it also has some capabilities that the desktop app does not that I use frequently.

      • Ugur

        In reply to jrickel96: yes, it actually does have some neat new features (which could totally easily be added to skype classic if not for political reasons holding that back) but skype uwp gets too many important "basics" wrong and/or in unacceptable performance, so yeah, no use.

      • rseiler

        I think it's more common to hear the complaint that it's missing a raft of basic features that many people once used. New features are nice, when they're not stupid (Skype also has a problem with that sometimes), but the horse needs to get ahead of the cart again.

      • dontbe evil

        In reply to jrickel96:

        people just like to complain about "modern" apps, they don't even know/try what really are

        • Ugur

          In reply to dontbe_evil: this is not about a general dislike of UWP apps for no good reason, people have reasons why they don't like UWP apps, because in most cases they lack fundamental basic functionality one should totally be able to expect from a desktop app in 2018.
          Like, again, in the Skype uwp version when i select a long textblock in a lengthy chat conversation, the app regularly freezes or crashes.
          When i scroll using the scroll bar or scroll arrows in a long chat, again, the app freezes or crashes.
          this happens on a high end desktop pc which can run all other pro apps and high end games perfectly fine.
          it also has reliability issues like i had it happen several times that it actually skipped incoming messages which did arrive on my other skype clients.
          sorry, this type of stuff is completely unacceptable.
          I've been using Skype since the earliest days and they constantly make it worse and worse.
          If they really kill of the non uwp desktop version, which by no means is perfect but was at least more usable, yeah, i and many others will have to seriously reconsider using skype at all.

  14. rseiler

    They put up that FAQ a month ago with the September date, but because of ambiguous wording (earlier revisions indicated that it would only be for old versions of Windows), it wasn't sure until the blog post today.

    There's a long list of features missing in the modern apps (Google: "Old features in the new Skype"), including more chat-related items not in that list.

    And it's interesting that the 8.x desktop version no longer has the blocker for installing on Win10 (it used to be until very recently that you had to set it to Win8 in Compatibility). Even MS doesn't like the UWP version, it seems, though it's really very close to the 8.x desktop version in every way (equally bad), so I guess it's redundant.

  15. Bob Shutts

    Wish Apple would license iMessage.

  16. Daekar

    I want so badly to use Skype... But every time I do, something goes wrong. My wife is so thoroughly disgusted by it that she refuses to use it even though it's integrated into our O365 sub.

  17. Kadren

    I called it when I read about the new Skype release. It's the typical micrpsoft thing.

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