Microsoft Says Skype Investments to Continue

Posted on May 26, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365, Office 365, Skype with 17 Comments

With Microsoft Teams usage surging and soon adding consumer features and Skype integration, many are wondering about the fate of Skype. But Microsoft corporate vice president Jeff Teper said in an interview that the firm won’t stop adding new functionality to Skype too.

“We’re continuing to invest in Skype,” Mr. Teper told VentureBeat. “It’s growing through all this. You’ll see some new features. You’ll see Skype and Teams interoperate. As Teams lands with consumers and does more things, I think people will pick Teams. But we’re not going to be heavy-handed about this. People love Skype. And so we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves here.”

Read carefully, that quote doesn’t necessarily suggest that Skype is the priority: If anything, it seems to confirm that Microsoft’s emphasis is on Teams, not Skype, and that while it won’t push users off Skype quite yet, that day is coming.

That said, Teper also compares the Skype/Teams dualism to how Facebook has multiple similar apps too. And that suggests that Microsoft could maintain both Skype and Teams for a long time if necessary.

“Facebook, for example, has multiple [communications] tools, with Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp,” Teper said. “Those all continue to grow. They did work to interoperate with them. They’re not forcing a migration from one of their consumer tools to another. That’s how I look at our playbook, at least in the near term. Teams has a very different flavor to it than Skype. It does overlap in the same need, just like Messenger and WhatsApp do from Facebook. And so we’ll have them interoperate, but we’re going to continue to show love to the Skype customer base.”

In the near term. Hm. Back and forth we go.

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