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back to article Microsoft rolls out always-on Skype for Windows Phone 8

Microsoft has dropped Skype for Windows Phone 8 into its app store, the pocket-sized version of its desktop counterpart. Once you've sorted out your account, you'll be able to see which of your friends have Skype and then make a Skype call, regular call, text, email or Facebook from the "People Hub". The People Hub in Windows …

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And as an added bonus, Microsoft will hand over all data they have on you to third parties without requiring such pesky things as court orders or warrants.

Skype. The Snitch In Your Pocket (TM).

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Anonymous Coward

...always-on Skype...

If I'm one of the carriers, why should I sell Windows phones?

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Devil

Re: ...always-on Skype...

Data packages. Refer to EE pricing for more information...

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MIc
Mushroom

Re: ...always-on Skype...

How about:

New Poll Says 22% of Respondents will get a Windows Phone 8 device, tied with iPhone interest

http://www.mobilemag.com/2012/11/09/windows-phone8-and-iphone-interest-tied/

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Silver badge

Re: ...always-on Skype...

My thoughts exactly. Another nail in the coffin of the old way of arranging price plans, and showing that EE was right to forget about Call timing, and move to data only.

Dumb pipes Ahoy!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ...always-on Skype...

They've been selling well and there's 1,500 new developers registering daily since Build 2012. Looks like it may take off this time.

http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2012/11/10/surging-developer-interest-in-windows-phone-8-may-point-to-early-success-for-microsofts-mobile-pivot/

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Paris Hilton

Re: ...always-on Skype...

and people thought face-time blocking was a one-off!

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I'm sorry I'm away from my phone at the moment

where a moment==infinity.

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JDX
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I don't see people complaining that their phone is 'always on' for phone calls and text messages. Being always on for Skype is fine, ON A PHONE.

Although to be honest I somehow doubt there isn't an off switch in the settings, for when you are on 3G and don't want to eat all your data.

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Anonymous Coward

"I don't see people complaining that their phone is 'always on' for phone calls and text messages. Being always on for Skype is fine, ON A PHONE."

Well, here's one. Orange made me see that one, sending me spam texts in the middle of the night with great regularity. Not only did I take to muting it at night, but changed providers.

Also, the way that I (and a number of other people) use Skype *is* different. I don't know if you have actually ever used it, or are just arguing from ignorance, but a major feature of the software is "presence" indication, a la IM services. Thus people use their status to indicate their willingness to talk, often just going online with it when they're willing to receive calls from Skype contacts. These contacts might not be the exact same people who have their mobile numbers, and might not be people that need to have the capacity to phone them at any time.

There is more than one use case. To make a lazy assertion like "Being always on for Skype is fine, ON A PHONE" just seems ignorant.

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JDX
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For you to think your use case of Skype is the general case is equally ignorant. When you're dealing with people overseas, they often use Skype as a regular phone to call you. Many don't use the IM part of Skype at all.

But anyway surely this new version of Skype still lets you set your status to 'appear offline' meaning we both get what we want - you can let people think you're away, I can use it as a phone.

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until microsoft, or their agents/partners/bloke-they-met-in-a-pub bombards you with spam every 10 secs

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"I don't see people complaining that their phone is 'always on' for phone calls and text messages. Being always on for Skype is fine, ON A PHONE."

I do. When a client txts me at midnight to ask a question that could have waited till morning, it's very annoying. The problem is that there's no group control in Skype (unless it's been added to a later version than I'm running on my Desktop). That means I need to have different Skype accounts for work and non-work. Something that isn't really possible as I can only run one instance of Skype on my phone / computer and the times I will need them will overlap.

The reason you don't see people complaing that their phone is always on as often (though it does happen), is because when it's just a phone number, people don't normally take your availability for granted. When you have something that says: "Available", they assume that means you're just sitting there hoping they'll come and ask you questions.

MS should have focused on Lync as that is far superior to Skype for business use (and personal, I guess). I just hope they never take that away in favour of Skype.

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"For you to think your use case of Skype is the general case is equally ignorant."

Logically not so. Putting up their counter-example of their needs differing doesn't show that your needs are less valid, but it does undermine your assumption that it is fine for all users. Which I believe was their intent.

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Maybe they might want to add....

The new "blocking" mode thats on Android now - please i don't want to start "mines bigger than yours!", it is however a VERY handy feature.

Simply tell it what time you do NOT want to receive and not receive alerts and it blocks all audible and screen wake-up calls between these times. You can also add exceptions to this rule by name. Very handy. This can cure one of the issues mentioned by others but does indeed leave others unanswered.

Maybe there is an app for it or a dev is reading this and can code it?

(I had a windows phone 7 but at the time OneNote couldn't copy across gfx/pictures/handwriting to the phone, so had to switch to Evernote and Androird, I believe it now can so am VERY tempted to switch back to 8. I also run an SGS 3 which to me, whilst almost being the perfect phone is too big for me. I wish the 920 was just a little smaller and I'd snap it up in an instant.)

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Mushroom

Magic!

Now they've got that out of the way, maybe they can get round to fixing some of the more pressing issues in the Android version. I figured that them all being busy on something 8-related was the reason for the deaf ear being turned to issues.

Addressing the piss-poor volume when using the internal mic on a tablet and the truly godawful UI navigation would be a start. After that, help, FAQ and such that actually relates to the Android version, rather than offering advice based on features that only exist in the Win or Mac versions would be nice.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Magic!

> maybe they can get round to fixing some of the more pressing issues in the Android version

I very much doubt it. They need to invent some reasons for people to buy a Windows 8 phone - good Skype support might persuade some of them.

That is, Skype will slowly become part of the Microsoft walled garden.

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Re: Magic!

"Now they've got that out of the way, maybe they can get round to fixing some of the more pressing issues in the Android version"

And now you see why when Skype appeared and began to kill off open VoIP networks just as they were starting to emerge, many of us raged against it. People shouldn't have adopted it, but they did. Now we're all going to have to sit around waiting for the EU to mandate that the Skype network be broken open before someone can write an Open Source client.

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Anonymous Coward

Privacy fun.

So, if I were to give someone my phone number, they can probably use it to find my Skype ID. But my Skype ID is also my username on several forums. So now, for example, The Boss or The Mother are one google-search away from discovering all the highly politically-incorrect forum posts in which I viciously attack various religious groups for the bronze-age superstitions? Or worse, the use of the same name to identify a character in some artwork of rather adult nature.

No, I can't see how this could go wrong at all!

Anon because paranoid. Justifiably.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Privacy fun.

But clearly not anonymous enough. Perhaps it is too late to suggest that using the same username everywhere could be unwise?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Privacy fun.

Maybe you should have thought about that before spouting what you admit are "highly politically incorrect" opinions?

Blaming others for your lack of common sense is a bit, well, stone age, in it's thought processes.

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JDX
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Re: Privacy fun.

AC that's your own stupid fault.

You know you can just sign up another Skype account though, right?

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Windows

And what about....

The early adopters, you know; the people who are currently still using Windows Phone 7.5 which contains a Skype app which can't run on the background?

Do we get some kind of update too or is MS simply going to thank us for all the valuable user input and the fish?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And what about....

They're magically going to transform the underlying OS just to please you.

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Childcatcher

Re: And what about....

Has your Windows Phone 7.5 device stopped working? Does it suddenly not do what it did yesterday? Did you also get grumpy when you found out your DVD player wasn't going to play Blu-Rays?

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Anonymous Coward

Unique ?

Skype runs on an iPad. The iPad is not truly off when the cover is on - it's in standby. Surely Skype is "on" all the time on an iPad as well ? Is this a unique benefit of Windows 8 ?

NB - I don't own an iPad - this is more of a question than a statement.

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Re: catching up with Android, not sure about IOS

I assume iOS got some sort of real background service before now, don't know, not sure I care. Skype was always a shitty, power draining piece of crap on Android, wouldn't expect it to work much better on IOS though.

The story here is the WinPhone *didn't* have usable background service support for it till now. As Google discovered VOIP seems to need deep hacking into the OS to keep performance and power use under control, they just got round to it more than a year ago and chose to support generic SIP instead of something they own and control. Think I'll be sticking to my SIP account and avoiding Skype.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Unique ?

Yeah, you are correct.

I use Skype daily, and for the sake of sound quality, use a wired USB headset on my PC- but usually slump on a nearby sofa. I log my iPad on too, so that urls pasted (and the like) can be clicked without having to emerge from a heap of sofa (that works well, by the way, on a couple of devices at once).

If I forget to log Skype off on my iPad, just sending the app to the back and closing the cover, then my belov'd correspondent may think I am around and callable. Sending IMs or calling will produce fewer useful results than normal at such times. I normally remember, but confusion can result otherwise.

Actually like my fellow AC above, I like not to have it on all the time, as it's a painless way to let people know about my status. I find unsolicited telephone calls a bit intrusive. However, showing as online in Skype shows that I am fair game.

I am guessing that the "story" is just a bit of a cack-handed retreading of a press release. The truth is probably something unremakable, like they've made an attempt to let Skype run in the background as a slightly slimmer server, popping up the whole interface as needed?

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Silver badge

Re: Unique ?

"I am guessing that the "story" is just a bit of a cack-handed retreading of a press release. The truth is probably something unremakable, like they've made an attempt to let Skype run in the background as a slightly slimmer server, popping up the whole interface as needed?"

Yeah - it's cack-handed. Nothing stops you either setting it to Invisible status or closing the app completely. All this really means is that it can run in the background and still listen for incoming messages and calls; and that it can integrate them into the People and Message hubs.

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DND or Mute or Don't Answer

When did the El Reg readership turn old-fogey and senile...?

Since when did it become too complicated for tech-aware users to ignore incoming voice or video calls, texts, IMs, email notify, calendar invites, etc...? (Especially, as others have pointed to using invisible status or mute, etc.)

Gotta love the hyperactive headline. Since multitasking APIs were added to iOS a few years ago, battery-efficient background tasks have been the norm (with VOIP, such as Skype, then in 2010 with always-on FaceTime with phone# integration).

(I said, "battery-efficient"...please no flaming. Maybe WinCE and PalmOS had multi-tasking in 2001, but no one cared.) ;)

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Always on - for ads

With MS notmetro apps showing advertising then perhaps Skype will be always on for advertising - even if you set 'not available'.

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WTF?

What is the big deal?.......

....Skype can be always ON (or OFF if you prefer) on Android.

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