What’s happening to Skype

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I was looking at all the coverage of Windows 11 and a few things caught my eye. One is Teams. I understand everything is about Teams. Now an apps platform for collaboration within the enterprise. People used to centre things on Outlook but in 2021 it appears Teams is becoming the hub of activity with Outlook taking a step back to a degree.

 

However, at home my Microsoft 365 Family subscription gives me 60 minutes of Skype calls a month. I do use this rather than my landline when sitting at my PC. While many people are now using Zoom, I will still Skype some people. They are often surprised by the incoming call because they had forgotten that Skype starts automatically. Once the shock is over, they can still do Skype.

 

Microsoft spent $8 billion on Skype. For the brand and as its primary consumer IM and video system. Yet we now have Teams for families. I am trying to get around how, as an individual, the concept of a “team” works. My wife has an iphone and we imessage or Skype. I guess I need to check if Teams interoperates with Skype. I have not really tested this as a consumer.

 

Microsoft hasn’t really made the move to Teams for consumers. The product is there but it doesn’t seem to be doing as much as Skype. Is Skype dead? Is the $8 billion a write-off now? I don’t know. Teams for consumer seems very odd right now and I don’t know how to even get my head around it.

 

Comments (2)

2 responses to “What’s happening to Skype”

  1. darkgrayknight

    The parts that make up Skype also make up Teams to some extent, that is why some video effect items are available on both Teams and Skype. So Skype won't be a write-off as it is being absorbed into Teams. What would be better is to just make Skype the light version of Teams and make it thoroughly integrated between the two. I'm not sure they will though.

  2. wright_is

    The problem is brand recognition and prestige.


    Skype was a big name in the late 90s and early 2000s, but it was a consumer product, at a time when few consumers knew about or wanted such services, so it slumbered with a faithful band of users. Then its modus operandi changed and gone was the peer-to-peer secure messaging, it now ran over central servers, it was also now part of Microsoft. That scared away a lot of the faithful.


    Then messaging took off again, with the like of Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp and iMessage. But Skype had fallen off the radar and had been left in the dust. It wasn't good for business conferences and there were more secure and reliable solutions for consumers.


    Now we have the big brand explosion from the last 2 years, where Teams has come out ahead of the game. Whilst Zoom garnered many headlines, Teams has more active monthly users and is part of Microsoft 365, so even more users have theoretical access to it. Teams is the hot brand of the moment, for Microsoft. Skype never turned into a real earner for Microsoft, it was a brand sinkhole.


    Therefore Skype, having had its day, is slowly slipping into the sunset at the IM retirement home, where it can natter away with AIM, ICQ and the others about their glory days.


    I used to be a regular Skype user in the early 2000s, living in Germany with my family in the UK, it was a cheap way of staying in touch, but everybody gradually stopped using it. I can't remember the last time I really used it... Maybe 4 years ago.

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