Skype seems to have no purpose


When I am home I like the idea of Windows 10 notifications alerting me to text messages. When I had a Windowsphone for a short while I seem to remember Skype allowing me to make it the default SMS messenger and then having do the same job in Windows.

This didn’t seem to last very long because Skype on Windowsphone lost messages, seemingly added them to random people in my contacts list and worked in a chaotic manner. I was forced to switch it off.

Then there are people with iMessage. It uses IMessage to iMessage if it can and SMS if it can’t. Its quite seemless. 

I can now go to Android messages and have SMS in my browser. It allows me to text people with a real keyboard. This works pretty well and a lot better than Windows 10 has managed to do.

I feel a little frustrated that Skype doesn’t work like iMessage on mobile and doesn’t allow SMS integration on the PC. Despite Microsoft having Skype in the product catalogue for years they seem to reboot the interface, take it apart, put it back together but fundamentally fail to get it working in the way it should work in a multi-device world. Even when Microsoft controlled Windowsphone and Skype it spent more time rebooting how it looked than getting it to work really well.

We are now in a multiple messaging world. Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and every other persons Android messaging app with encryption. Microsoft are fortunate Apple haven’t brought iMessage to Android and PC. 

I do feel that Skype is Microsoft product being killed by unnecessary indecision about what it is and what Microsoft want to do with it. 

I would like Skype to be my go to application for integrated communication. It really doesn’t work for that.

Comments (13)

13 responses to “Skype seems to have no purpose”

  1. Jhambi

    I completely agree most people I know either use iMessage or Whatsapp

  2. longhorn

    What has gone wrong with software development in recent years? Developers forgot the golden rule:

    "Do one thing and do it well"

    Just because mobile OSes lack multitasking doesn't mean we can't use more than one app at a time, with split view we can actually use two :) Windows is king of multitasking even in tablet mode, Microsoft deserves some credit for that.

    The idea that one app should do it all is crazy and brings us nothing but pain and sorrow.

    • skane2600

      In reply to longhorn:

      "Do one thing and do it well"

      Well the scope of "one thing" can be rather flexible.

      Traditionally UNIX programs took the idea to an extreme so that getting something accomplished often involved using multiple user-space utilities together as a kind of just-in-time "integration construction set". IMO, all OS's have idiosyncrasies that are more a reflection of the time and environment they were designed in than deep and thoughtful analysis.

  3. bbold

    I completely agree. Skype needs a definition, a reason to exist. NOBODY I know uses it. Whenever I do start it up, I just say hello to Zo, one of the bots, and log off. I even had free credits for a year through an Office 365 upgrade and I never used the minutes, lol.. Why would I? FaceTime is so much easier and everybody uses it. :D (It kills me to say that, but it's true. Question is.. how does MS change that trend? And is it possible?)

    • skane2600

      In reply to bbold:

      "FaceTime is so much easier and everybody uses it."

      Which is amazing given that more people have Android phones than iPhones and the former can't run FaceTime.

    • wright_is

      In reply to bbold:

      Given that FaceTime only works on iPhones and Macs and they have 15-17% and ~7% market share respectively, I'd guess most people don't use it.

      I use the Skype minutes to make international calls to my family.

    • maethorechannen

      In reply to bbold:

      Everyone I know uses WhatsApp. No one uses FaceTime. Possibly because we're not in the US.

      That still means no one's using Skype.

  4. reefer

    Skype is big in the enterprise. There you have it.

    • ponsaelius

      In reply to reefer:

      Not really Skype. Its Lync rebranded. Anyway MS want the enterprise to use Teams now.

    • jchampeau

      In reply to reefer:

      Skype is mostly prohibited in the enterprise. Skype for Business (formerly Lync, formerly Office Communications Server) is there but users will eventually be pushed to Teams, or so it seems. The two IT-field colleagues I know personally whose companies have shifted to Teams absolutely detest it.

  5. maethorechannen

    I think Skype is one of those "Seemed like a good idea at the time" purchases that didn't really pan out (both for Microsoft and eBay before them).

    That it's in a fickle market doesn't help. People are about as likely to go back to Skype as they were likely to go back to AOL or ICQ.

    Maybe it will find a home under Modern Life, though I wish they rebrand it back to Microsoft Messenger.

  6. jprestig

    I don't have any friends or family that use it. I wish I could disable it on and all Office Online sites. I know it's not a huge deal, since I don't use it anyway. Just irks me there's no way to disable it.

  7. navarac

    Biggest trouble with Skype, is that it has remained an almost autonomous company. Microsoft needs to deal with it and integrate it into Microsoft.