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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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Microsoft Says Skype Investments to Continue”

  1. red.radar

    Maybe I am doing it wrong... but I like that my personal life is on Skype and corporate life is on teams.

    user switching in apps is awkward and I like that both can run concurrently.

    I notice that because I use outlook app for both work and personal email.. I miss important emails to my personal account because it’s noise compared to the flood of regular emails. Maybe this is a product of iOS poor notification system.

    • Paul Thurrott

      I guess I do too. But then again, having to monitor two different apps is kind of a pain as well.
    • phil_adcock

      In reply to red.radar:

      I'm a little odd in how I manage my email. If I'm on my Mac or my PC. I use outlook to manage both my personal domain email and gmail account. However on my phone where I don't have the full app open all the time and where I often triage from the notification try I use to different apps. For my domain I use outlook for my gmail I use the gmail app. Then I know simply by looking at the home screen which account I'm managing.

    • jwpear

      In reply to red.radar:

      I am of the same thinking. I just don't see everyday consumers using Teams. It feels too complex at the moment. Teams feels like the perfect corporate/organization tool with its integration with the other Microsoft offerings.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to red.radar: Paul will hate this suggestion, but consider Mail, that comes with Win 10 for personal, and Outlook for work. Mail handles multiple,etc accounts as well as my GMail account, just fine. To me it is just fine for what I do with those accounts. Nothing fancy, just read the mail and occaisionally reply.

  2. proftheory

    Maybe they'll merge the code and skin one as Skype and the other as Teams with the same functionality?

    • phil_adcock

      In reply to proftheory:

      I'd love this if I could chat with people that where on Skype in teams or if I happened to be on a device that just has Skype installed on it stay in touch with people on teams. One central app but able to interoperate between the two would be awesome. As far as work and personal. Skype/Teams is not a product that I have multiple accounts for so it would be a pretty easy integration for me.

  3. BizTechSherpa

    I am wondering where Yammer fits. Does anybody use it, and what is the reason they would?

    • red.radar

      In reply to BizTechSherpa:

      We use Yammer for broadcast large audience messages. Our internal homepage has a yammer news feed that we can see. It gets used as a tool to communicate in a asynchronous broadcast format without clutter everyone’s email.

      but that is about it... any other group connection functionality seems to be shifting to teams quickly.

  4. sharpcut

    If I want to have an online event with more than 100 people on video, I know Zoom has options, but will Skype handle this, or do I need to invest in Teams?

  5. madthinus

    We are investing... in an exit strategy !

    Sorry, not sorry for the cheap shot ;-) I will be THAT guy!

  6. yoshi

    One day we will have a Microsoft that just commits to things. One. Day.

    • youwerewarned

      In reply to yoshi:

      Don't worry...Skype will be fine. To give it added visibility I donated a Lumia 1520, 920, 640, and a Zune HD to be used as a pedestal at the next virtual showcase. Yeah, there's a pretty good chance it all crashes down...

    • Winner

      In reply to yoshi:

      Microsoft just seems incapable of simplicity. In their Windows architecture, in their naming of products and services. It's always hieroglyphic and messy. Skype used to have a simple UI and now it's a mess. Then of course they started calling different things "skype". And then we move to Teams - but WAIT! - let's keep the Skype name anyway. It's sort of like when just about everything they did was named Windows.

  7. simont

    A popup in Skype with Clippy asking: Do you want to install Teams?

    • SvenJ

      In reply to simont: It was more direct than that in Skype for Business. When opening Skype for Business it simply noted, Your Organization has moved to Teams, would you like to download and open that now? With the option being, OK. I am the organization, incidentally. That decision to move to Teams was made for me. Not that I had a real issue with it, but Teams is way more than Skype and so adds a lot of unnecessary complexity.

  8. roykirk

    I do hope that development or at least support of Skype continues. Teams is not something I or my company use or have used, and no plans to do so. Skype is my goto for voice chat as its call quality is better than all others I've tried.

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