back to article Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming

Microsoft has officially decommissioned the Skype-calling support service SkypeKit, leaving some old VOIP handset users on hold. "I have just been royally upset by them," writes Tim Moore, a RTX Skype phone owner in South Devon, in an email to The Register. According to Microsoft, SkypeKit gave internet-connected devices and …

Page:

  1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    RIP Skype ?

    I do not keep Skype open any longer at home PC, because 1) it started displaying ads even though I am paid customer and 2) sometimes its chat window would lag by minutes, making it unusable. On the other hand I've been using SIP since last 3 years (with AA ISP and Panasonic phone) and am no longer tempted by cheap international rates in Skype. I have cheap international rates on my SIP too, and I can use it without being tied to a PC. My only regret is there is no good chat service to replace Skype, but perhaps I will simply setup my own for friends and family. If I actually need it.

    I feel a little sorry for the chap who was using Skype for VoIP, but really he should have moved on to proper SIP.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: RIP Skype ?

      I currently use Discord (until they start advertising in the apps) but in theory any IRC server can act as your chat service

      1. fobobob

        Re: RIP Skype ?

        They seem to have relatively recently monetized some additional features (rather than crapping on people by locking existing features/ad-freeness behind subscription fee). Hopefully they continue to take the high road.

    2. Drtim

      Re: RIP Skype ?

      I am the chap. At the time I set everything up, my only internet connection was over a slow 3g link and none of the SIP codecs would work reliably. Skype however did. And it all worked great, cordless phone, landline number, cheap calls and no ads as it was just a phone.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: RIP Skype ?

        well what can I say ... hope you have better connection now. SIP is the way to go, if you need a regular number.

        1. uncommon_sense
          Flame

          R.I.P VoIP CRAP!!!

          PSTN or ISDN is the way, if you don't like talking to a lagging Darth Vader...

          1. g4ugm

            Re: R.I.P VoIP CRAP!!!

            Except, that certainly in the UK the backbone is VOIP...

            http://www.redcentricplc.com/resources/articles/top-10-things-to-know-about-21cn/

            so a PSTN connection is just a VOIP gateway...

      2. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: RIP Skype ?

        "a slow 3g link and none of the SIP codecs would work reliably."

        Well as far as I've seen, most wireless carriers detect VoIP and give it a very low priority on 3G networks. I guess they detect small UDP-Packets coming at regular intervalls as the first second or so usually works. However with LTE that works like a charm.

        I guess Skype can also use TCP for voice streams. That's a bit harder to detect.

        However, if you are on a 3G link, you might as well use that for telephony. WDCMA/UMTS was designed for isochronous streams.

  2. big_D Silver badge

    Dualphone

    Sounds like it is a problem with the handset manufacturer not informing their customers.

    According to the report, Microsoft made it general knowledge that support for devices was being sunset 4 years ago. If the phone manufacturer didn't inform the customer, or the customer didn't look for an alternative in the intervening 4 years, it sounds like they are equally to blame.

    If I am informed that a service / device will stop working, I will look for an alternative, before it dies, I don't wait until it stops working and then try and get compensation for lost business.

    1. Drtim

      Re: Dualphone

      "If I am informed that a service / device will stop working, I will look for an alternative, before it dies, I don't wait until it stops working and then try and get compensation for lost business."

      So do I, but I wasn't informed.

      Microsoft (apparently) stated Skypekit was being discontinued but that date had long passed and my phone still worked so it can't be using Skypekit right? Don't forget, this is an official Skype branded phone, still on sale and listed on the Skype website so it must be ok surely? Why would I think otherwise?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dualphone

        I gave up on Skype too, for similar reasons.

        Now on SIP and very happy.Shame as Skype used to be a good service.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dualphone

        no, you WERE informed. You just didn't understand the information.

        Microsoft's problem here is that they should have looked at the API logs, built a list of accounts that were still using it, and sent a reminder message that stated "four years ago we told you that we were going to stop supporting the buggy pre-Microsoft peer-to-peer API and you are still using it. Don't be surprised if that old equipment stops without warning, and here is a place you can buy modern equipment"

        As for your claim of it being a "Skype branded phone listed for sale on the Skype website" -- the Skype store was shut down in April 2015 so exactly where on the Skype website do you find it listed for sale? They don't have ANY hardware on their site, just software.

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: Dualphone

          As I recall the major "bug" in the peer-to-peer setup was it was very hard to wiretap, and Microsoft was under a lot of pressure from the US government to "fix" that.

  3. mark l 2 Silver badge

    This is why proprietary protocols rather than using standard such as SIP are sometimes a bad idea. I think Microsoft should at least allow people who have one of these phone to port their phone number over to other VOIP services so they can carry on using that number.

    1. Vic

      This is why proprietary protocols rather than using standard such as SIP are sometimes a bad idea

      Sometimes??

      Vic.

    2. Anne Hunny Mouse

      SIP implementation often isnt standard between Vendors, each having there own variations. Interworking between different systems often leads to missing features and the connection being dumbed down to a wet piece of string.

  4. Horridbloke

    The usual story

    Games For Windows

    Tags

    Zune

    Plays For Sure

    Kin

    ...

    Why would anyone NOT run a mile from MS-furnished online services?

    1. Gerhard Mack

      Re: The usual story

      you forgot Sidekick.

      1. Jakester

        Re: The usual story

        ... and Bob, but that was a cruel joke from the start

    2. LittleOldMe

      Re: The usual story

      We don't call them Microsucks for nothing.

      Microsucks have a very poor reputation for customer service. They were born a software company and are really struggling to become a Service Provider.

      I started using Skype before it was a Microsucks product and it was good. I did not discard it when Microsucks bought it, but I did expect the service to get worse. Sure enough it did. I moved to a different VOIP vendor.

      You take a big risk when you get Microsucks to provide you a business critical service.

      Just my opinion of course :)

  5. inmypjs Silver badge

    Anyone who didn't..

    ditch skype when Microsoft acquired it deserves what they get.

  6. calonddraig

    SIP all the way

    I use Skype for occasional video chats with customers, as it's still a defecto standard for that (especially with less tech savvy folk). But I'd never dream of using Skype for phone use. Sipgate does all I need, incredibly cheaply.

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: a defecto standard...

      Best...typo....ever.... ;-)

      1. uncommon_sense

        Re: a defecto standard...

        Best...typo....ever.... ;-)

        Belongs in there with conslutant, cow-orker and copro-grammer.

  7. Wade Burchette

    << In July 2013, Microsoft announced that it was ending support for the SkypeKit software development kit within 12 months because "it does not deliver a consistent Skype customer experience or support our cross-platform application-development efforts". >>

    In other words, SkypeKit provided a reliable customer experience which no longer fits the vision of Microsoft's Skype. Logically, then, it had to go because it was just too good.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      old skype dropped because of lack of advertising support?

      Microsoft did warn old SkyPE users, they used the usual (service mysteriously starts misbehaving after years of reliability) technique like they have with every product they want their customers to upgrade (buy again after they messed with it for no good reason)

      IMHO M$ do not agree with the idea of their customers buying a product once, you have to keep buying it over and again or they break it to force you to cough up yet more cash.

  8. JimboSmith Silver badge

    Had a Three phone with Skype on Three

    It worked brilliantly you could make Skype to Skype calls and freephone number in the US for nothing over the mobile voice network, no data connection needed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_Skypephone_Series

    It had messenger and was very useful till Microsoft bought Skype and then they announced they were discontinuing the service for it.

    https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA10976/has-skype-on-3-been-discontinued

    "To offer you the best mobile experience possible, we discontinued Skype on 3 from 30 September 2014 and replaced it with our standard versions of Skype...."

    The best mobile experience my arse, on any other version it uses data to make calls and therefore not free! The phone was only £20 (and saved me a small fortune) so didn't lose out financially but the pain of not having it working was immense.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Had a Three phone with Skype on Three

      The only reason why I went to Three in the first place was Skype

  9. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Yo Telegram and Whatsapp! Open market segment!

    1. bazza Silver badge

      What, replace one proprietary standard with two different proprietary standards?!?!

      To be honest I don't know if Telegram or WhatsApp offerings are open standards compliant, but in this day and age of OTT walled gardens I'm not getting my hopes up...

    2. Random Handle

      >Yo Telegram and Whatsapp! Open market segment!

      ...if the well known 'camera company' Snapchat only had a brain.

  10. LDS Silver badge

    Nadella's efforts to undermine any credibility left going on well...

    ....having Skype better supported on iOS and Android than on Windows Phone is a real gem.

    Does he really believe people will switch to another MS product? Hastening people to move to Apple or Google doesn't look a smart move to me.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Nadella's efforts to undermine any credibility left going on well...

      Their problem is people already have abandoned or ignored Windows Phone.

      We haven't been able to buy cheap Windows phones via our operator for about half a year, which is a shame as for work they do exactly what is needed.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Nadella's efforts to undermine any credibility left going on well...

        Their problem is people already have abandoned or ignored Windows Phone.

        The problem is that inside Redmond there are a lot of people who have nailed their colours (viz balls) to the Windows 10 Mobile mast. They are in positions if influence so until:- 1) They die, 2) they leave or 3) Satnad is replaced and the new emperor gets new clothes, sod all is going to change.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Nadella's efforts to undermine any credibility left going on well...

          If MS had desupported XP so quickly while Vista failed, to push people towards the latter, it may not have had time to regain control and some trust with 7.

          Window 10 mobile mast looks to be on a ship without sails and wheel, in the middle of a big ocean - why should one join aboard? Especially when some people are thrown off board just because - and those in charge will tweet from their iPhones about that...

        2. uncommon_sense

          Re: Nadella's efforts to undermine any credibility left going on well...

          They are in positions if influence so until:- 1) They die, 2) they leave or 3) Satnad is replaced and the new emperor gets new clothes, sod all is going to change.<<<

          True, same with Apple and Kook

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nadella's efforts to undermine any credibility left going on well...

      Apples problem is that their products is suffering from a very expensive form of anorexia, lacking serviceability and upgradeability. Cook and Ive are running that company into the ground!

      Sent from my Mac

  11. Cobug

    "where he bought his Dualphone about a year ago"

    Why would anyone buy kit that's already been announced is going to be unsupported? It's not like there aren't perfectly good alternatives.

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: "where he bought his Dualphone about a year ago"

      Why would anyone buy kit that's already been announced is going to be unsupported? It's not like there aren't perfectly good alternatives.

      Are you kidding? Netgear is **STILL** selling the NeoTV Prime, which runs the long-abandoned GoogleTV system (yes, not AndroidTV). Look at https://www.netgear.com/landing/stream/tv/#googletv

  12. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Never count on MS

    Simples.

    Windows Phone, Windows RT, zune, bob, you name it ... if they feel like "discontinuing" it, they will.

    Don't trust Microsoft ... NEVER ! Hello, anybody in ?

    Been bitten ? Wait, I am am trying hard to give a fsck ... I cannot ... YOUR OWN DAMN FAULT!

    Do no trust Microsoft, never, they will shaft you like they have shafted:

    IBM

    Apple

    Caldera

    IBM

    Sybase

    Borland

    Novell

    SGI

    Suse

    Sun

    .... you name it ...

    Note: many more missing, the order might not be correct, only from the top of my head. No, I do not care, my main point is: NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, NO REALLY, TRUST MICROSOFT!

    1. JimC Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Never count on MS

      Fair comment, but which tech supplier would you suggest counting on?

      1. Steve Aubrey

        Re: Never count on MS

        JimC - that's a trick question. It presumes there is an answer, but that is still unproven.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never count on MS

        ARM and build your own

      3. P. Lee Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Never count on MS

        >Fair comment, but which tech supplier would you suggest counting on?

        IETF

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Never count on MS

      "Windows Phone, Windows RT, zune, bob, you name it ... if they feel like "discontinuing" it, they will."

      At least Google have the good grace to label everything as Beta!

  13. llaryllama

    That's more than I got

    A few years back I was using Skype for Business in Taiwan with multiple SIP lines and landline numbers in various countries hooked up to our Asterisk PBX. We spent a fair amount of money on Skype each month and it was actually a pretty nice solution because we could allocate credit individually to staff who needed it and the latency/general performance was extremely good.

    At some point Skype made a deal with some local Taiwanese company to handle all the sales and business, except in this case there was zero warning. Since we were logging in from Taiwan IP addresses Skype would not deal with us direct and insisted we go through the local company, except the local company had no way to handle automatic billing for credit and nobody knew how to add credit to a business SIP account. So we basically had to abandon Skype overnight because of some dumb ass business deal, and it took a while to find SIP trunking providers that could offer the same kind of functionality.

    We had about 150 EUR of credit left on the account that was now useless and eventually gave up trying to get it back. Bunch of twunts.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's going to be literally a couple of angry posts on Microsoft's website come 1st July.

  15. supertrooper2

    << In July 2013, Microsoft announced that it was ending support for the SkypeKit software development kit within 12 months because "it does not deliver a consistent Skype customer experience or support our cross-platform application-development efforts". >>

    Why did Skype continued to sell RTX Dualphone 4088 on its website after this "so-called" announcement by Microsoft?

    I never saw the announcement and would not have realized that "SkypeKit" software had anything to do with the Dualphones, which I bought from Skype quite recently.

    Why were we not informed by Skype that "End of Service" was coming?

    Pulling the plug in this way on thousands of Dualphone users is an absolute DISGRACE!

  16. GingerOne

    I've got an old Netgear WiFi Skype phone somewhere. Keep thinking I should chuck it on eBay or Freecycle but I guess its just a paperwieght now...

  17. JulieM Silver badge

    The Lessons of Baltimore, 1904 have not been learned

    It seems that nobody has bothered to learn a word from the Great Fire of Baltimore in 1904, a full 113 years ago now; when the city's fire brigade was overwhelmed, and firefighters from neighbouring brigades were unable to couple their hoses to the Baltimore hydrants, with .

    We need a law saying that proprietary standards can never simply be abandoned; they must be supported forever, or else sufficient information released to the Public Domain to permit third parties to provide their own independent support, with a seamless switchover, after the original vendor's support has ceased.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019