Back in March, we reported that Microsoft was getting ready to kill off Skype for Windows 10. This week, it’s finally happening.
“Starting in June 2020, Skype for Windows 10 and Skype for Desktop are becoming one so we can provide a consistent experience,” a Skype support document notes. “This lets us give the newest updates and improvements regardless of where you get Skype, from the Microsoft Store or from skype.com.”
What’s odd is that both apps will still be available and will offer consistent feature sets. This means that the “Store app,” i.e. Skype for Windows 10, has been reimplemented as an Electron app, just like the desktop version. (Previously, it was a React Native app, which is a type of UWP app on Windows 10.)
Thanks to this shift, Skype for Windows 10 is temporarily losing two features: Share integration and Outlook contact synchronization. But Microsoft notes that the latest versions of Skype for Windows 10 (Store) and Skype (desktop) both have the following new features:
- Updated close options so you can quit Skype or stop it from starting automatically
- Improved Tray icon, informing you about new messages and presence status
- Share files directly from your File Explorer
- 9 videos in a video call
- Background Replacement
- Moderated Chats
- Meet Now Improvements
- Improved Call Controls
Confused? Welcome to the club. I prefer(ed) Skype for Windows, just as I prefer(ed) OneNote for Windows, over the desktop alternatives. But with UWP no longer the future, Microsoft is apparently scaling back its in-house efforts, which I guess makes sense. Ah well.