Now Microsoft Will Kill Skype 7 in November

Posted on September 27, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Skype with 26 Comments

Bad news for those hoping to stick with the classic desktop version of Skype: Microsoft is pulling the plug. Again.

“As we continue to focus on and improve Skype version 8, support for Skype versions 7, and below will end on November 1, 2018 on desktop devices and November 15, 2018 on mobile and tablet devices,” a revision to Microsoft’s original post about the latest Skype version now reads. “Although you may be able to use older versions for a little while, we encourage you to update today to avoid any interruption.”

As you may recall, Microsoft suddenly and unexpectedly started upgrading the classic Skype desktop client—version 7.x—to a new, less capable product called Skype 8 in mid-July, right as I was heading to Sweden. Worse, they informed users that they had until September 1 to upgrade: After that, classic Skype would stop working.

Two weeks later, however, Microsoft backtracked and announced that it would let classic Skype “work for a limited time” past the September 1 date. So we now know how limited that time was: Two more months.

The software giant feels that it has made enough improvements to warrant the new deadline. It has added conversation search to Skype 8, for example, and will soon add the ability to tie phone numbers to Skype contacts. And Microsoft’s Ellen Kilbourne has shared an even longer list of improvements that the firm is working on, including performance improvements, advanced webcam settings, font size configuration, and more.

Which is, of course, the problem: A lot of those features are really basic. And when I complained that Skype 8 was less full-functional than its predecessor, that’s what I was referring to.

So what is this point of this non-upgrade upgrade?

“The update from version 7 to version 8 allows us to unify the experience of using Skype across all desktop and mobile platforms,” Kilbourne explains. “Unlike older versions, all version 8 applications are optimized to work in conjunction with our modern, mobile-friendly cloud services architecture, which has allowed us to deliver features such as video messaging and mobile group video calling over the past couple years. With a unified experience and with all applications now no longer having to support legacy architecture, our engineering teams can deliver features and quality improvements to customers much more quickly.”

Maybe they’ll get to multi-window view eventually too. You know, a Skype feature we’ve used for years.


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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Now Microsoft Will Kill Skype 7 in November”

  1. waethorn

    Moving from a version 7 to a version 8 that nobody likes. Sound familiar?

  2. DreamEater4real

    Let's keep the signatures coming to keep Classic Skype, alive!! Please spread the word, even more than before! And, MS might be trying to implement a better way to search through history, but most of our history is still gone on the new version. I really thought they were listening to their users. I started having hope and now the stress levels are at an all time high, for us! Shameful!!

  3. Trickyd

    With the abysmal new Skype version the phrase "polishing a turd" springs to mind , any product that's so bad you have to remove the better alternatives to get people to use it should really make Microsoft feel ashamed.

  4. skane2600

    I think the pervasive use of smartphones killed the original purpose of Skype which was a free or cheap way to make long distance or international calls at a time when long distance wasn't free and international calls were expensive. Without a smartphone, making a free international Skype call required a pre-planned call time to ensure that the receiving party was online on their computer to answer the call.

  5. Saarek

    I've not used Skype since they released the abortion that is the new version on iOS back in July last year. Since then I've moved mostly to FaceTime on my iPhone with WhatsApp as a backup.

  6. YouWereWarned

    So the spam comment with 6 down-votes appears way before the one with 11 up-votes, which is dead last. Apparently, the same algorithm was used by Microsoft to identify the version of Skype to keep.

  7. Daekar

    I would love to use Skype, but it's way too flakey, and contact discovery is a colossal pain. I have utterly failed to get any of my family to use it. At this point, despite the fact that I would like to use it, Microsoft could kill it tomorrow and it wouldn't effect my life at all.

    I would love to be able to say otherwise.

  8. FalseAgent

    no one I know uses Skype anymore. It's trash anyway. Discord and Slack has completely taken over all of the use cases that I encounter. Video calling on mobile is all Whatsapp/Facebook now (Facetime if you're in America).

    The funny thing is, Microsoft had a wonderful chat app back in the day known as MSN Messenger/Windows Live Messenger. They killed that in favor of Skype, and now they're killing the thing that they killed something else for.

    Truth is, people don't want re-inventions, people just want a foot they can stand on, and Microsoft has failed miserably.

  9. wright_is

    Multi window is the only thing I'm missing. I don't really use the rest of it, but I usually have a contacts bar running down one side of the screen and multiple chat windows scattered across the desktop.

  10. roastedwookie

    :))) Good luck Microsoft keeping the 0.00001% using this mediocre chat app.

  11. red.radar

    I hope after this they can invest in Skype for business. It needs some love.

  12. wbhite

    Is this the UWP version? Because my experience with UWP platform as a whole has not been good. Across multiple devices and multiple configurations, I've seen UWP apps close randomly, refuse to open, not remember window position/size, etc. Most recently, I came into work one morning after successfully using Power BI Desktop (the one from the Store) for months and I get a random "profile not found" error message. Google tells me it's a UWP oddity (yay) and I had to find the good ole' Win32 version instead. This move away from Win32 to UWP gives me anxiety.

  13. glenn8878

    Killing their products is not new. Easier to never use Microsoft services. I’m down to using Windows and Office. Exactly where I was 20 years ago.

  14. rseiler

    It's only *starting* in November and will take several months, depending on the "wave" you find yourself engulfed in. The forum post is a lot clearer about that than the updated blog post:

  15. bart

    “......our engineering teams can deliver features and quality improvements to customers much more quickly.”

    Enough said

  16. kamal614

    Microsoft is best company, as it provide many features that are very useful. HIGHLY SUGGESTED