back to article Linux lads lambast sorry state of Skype service

Linux users are piling on Microsoft after the long-neglected Skype client on the open-source OS suddenly lost the ability to join calls from other versions of the software. Since Monday, users running the latest Linux build of Skype have been unable to chat to friends who are using Skype for OS X and Windows, it appears. Fed …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > the complains about skype for linux show drastically the lack of a proper standardized, free and easy to use alternative...

    And here we get to the crux of the problem.

    Skype is 100% proprietary. That there is the main problem.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @ skelband - And owned by Slurp

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try the browser based alternative https://web.skype.com/en/

    1. ross 15
      FAIL

      But does it work in Linux?

      From the Skype website FAQ:

      The Skype web plugin is not supported on Windows RT, Linux and Chromebooks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But does it work in Linux?

        Not supported is not equivalent to not possible, usually.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: But does it work in Linux?

          It needs to download a binary blob plugin or ActiveX control. Good luck with that.

      2. qbix

        Re: But does it work in Linux?

        The Skype web interface works on my ARM-based chromebook. I didn't see anything about a plugin.

        1. cnsnnts
          FAIL

          Re: But does it work in Linux?

          The web client only supports messaging on Chrome OS. No audio or video calls.

        2. cnsnnts
          FAIL

          Re: But does it work in Linux?

          It only works for messaging, No audio or video calls.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge

      >Try the browser based alternative https://web.skype.com/en/

      Try webRTC, open, standard implementation, easy to use ... go get firefox and create a call with firefox Hello, even chrome users can connect ...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone needs to port Signal to linux,

    OSX and Windows versions would be welcome too.

    https://whispersystems.org/blog/signal/

    1. Nuno

      Re: Someone needs to port Signal to linux,

      https://whispersystems.org/blog/signal-desktop/

  4. DCFusor Silver badge

    G+

    While this site and many others seem to enjoy gloating over the lack of uptake on G+....it's because those of us who do use it - daily - don't make our stuff public, not being attention whores like facebook members.

    Since you don't have any actual friends, you don't see anything as all the groups of friends use privacy that google provides.

    (we define friends on a level of least to most: Facebook - you're kidding?, Friends - might lend you a cup of sugar or a beer, Real Friends - help you move, Life Friends - help you move the bodies)

    It works better than skype for video chatting...but you do obviously have to become a member. Funny, it works on all opsys, doesn't try to sell you anything, has some featured I didn't notice last time I had skype working here (all linux, so I guess it's not worth trying again now) -

    But of course, cognitive dissonance and the fear of looking as stupid as you are will keep this for those of us who don't care what the less adept - and many journalists - think.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: G+

      You do realize the reason people are lamenting the lack of support for Skype on Linux is because Skype is so ubiquitous, right? So all you need to do is convince everyone you know who uses Skype (including corporate users) that they should switch to something else for YOUR convenience?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Not to mention the irony of someone dissing Facebook while being signed up to the most privacy-invading company of the Internet which has its scripts all over the Web and follows you everywhere you go, tracking you all the time and correlating everything.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Not to mention the irony of someone dissing Facebook while being signed up to the most privacy-invading company of the Internet

          To be fair, whilst Faecebook and G+ are both shitehouses, he wasn't dissing Faecebook privacy compared to google, he was talking about the way people use Faecebook.

          Anyway, Skype (Skype for Business) is now in Lync, what used to be Lync video and integrated in O365 MS Cloud service.

          The scenario often happens, when someone sends out lync (Skype) meeting invitations with video host, shared desktop and attachments to all the remote and WFH workers. The Linux guy has to use a Windows desktop, or use the dial-in number.

    2. Jagged

      Re: G+

      Good sales pitch.

      Its owned by Google though :/ Still might give it a try. I am feed up of the adverts and "having my experience upgraded"

  5. Field Commander A9

    Just hack your own version per the open source spirit

    Wasn't 'reverse-engineering' the standard way of doing things on Linux? (That and WINE, for the lamer ones.)

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Just hack your own version per the open source spirit

      Ekiga is an open source client similar to Skype

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: Just hack your own version per the open source spirit

        Does it connect to Skype clients? If not then Pinar Yanardag's Granny is still stuffed.

        Unless he can get her converted to Linux, since Linux is now apparently easy and does everything Windows does; then they can just switch to Ekiga, or whatever passes for a Skype equivalent

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: Just hack your own version per the open source spirit

          @ Geoffrey W

          You can download Ekiga for Windows too. I will have to try it with some Windows user. Nice if this Skype "problem" helps the Ekiga guys.

          1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

            Re: Just hack your own version per the open source spirit

            @Lars

            Hmmm...It says Ekiga is available for Unix Like operating systems. Does that mean Linux? If not then Pinar Yanardag himself is stuffed.

            Actually I looked it up and see its available in most of the best known Linuxes so I guess everyone should be happy. As long as it works at least as good as Skype and is Granny friendly.

            Seriously, is Ekiga worth a look? I've been getting a bit niggled with Skype.

            1. Lennart Sorensen

              Re: Just hack your own version per the open source spirit

              Ekiga is one of many SIP clients. It is a quite nice one. Of course SIP predates skype by many years and being a standard, it is supported by lots of software and hardware. But it is slightly harder to use than skype, but on the other hand it isn't evil and proprietary.

        2. Spacedman
          Linux

          Re: Just hack your own version per the open source spirit

          Read the quoted tweet - Pinar's Granny *is* running Linux. She's probably writing Linux kernel device drivers in Erlang and currently using wireshark to reverse engineer the Skype protocol and implement her own updated client. You know, usual Granny stuff.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just hack your own version per the open source spirit

            So, I thus conclude Pinar = Dilbert, I mean, how many grannies like that can there be?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just hack your own version per the open source spirit

      Just don't try Jitsi. It's horrendously bad and coupled with that, is based on Java. Or maybe that's why it's so terrible to use?

      1. Jess

        Re: Just don't try Jitsi.

        Jitsi is quite nice if you want a flexible multi protocol system, but it is complex and a hideous resource hog.

        There is a quite nice free web based sip service at http://www.getonsip.com

        It has a couple of nice features, a personal url that allows incoming calls without an account for the caller and also allows client programs to be set up. (Client programs can do video to each other and other sip systems, but the web interface only does audio to anything other than someone else using it.) The instructions for how to set up bria also apply to the free xlite.

        There are lots of client programs. Ekiga seems to be the best simple app on linux. xlite seems to be the best free app on windows and mac. (the old version 3 is better in some ways than the current version.) For voice only on a mac, telephone is a brilliant app (Reliable versions exist for all 10.5 and above machines).

  6. Innocent-Bystander*

    Microsoft Support for Linux?

    They can barely get their shit together on Windows. They had to revert back to the old desktop Skype client because they couldn't make the modern app work worth crap. What would make anyone think that they have and/or willing to put in the time to support the Linux side?

  7. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    "We do understand that Linux is a competitor of Microsoft's Windows. But we do not understand why this results in a lack of support for Skype."

    I'd have thought that was obvious myself. Still, Linux fans.

    Intentional or not, the dropping of functionality for those users is classic MS. Lurching from one clanger to the next.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Q "Lurching from one clanger to the next"

      I think that's standard once an organization becomes so large that it divides into independent and competing kingdoms that only talk to each other via stilted formal channels.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        I think that's standard once an organization becomes so large that it divides into independent and competing kingdoms that only talk to each other via stilted formal channels.

        You mean NetMeeting, don't you??

        1. Lennart Sorensen

          Except NetMeeting actually used SIP, as in the standard that existed long before skype barged in with their own stupid peer to peer protocol.

          SIP does have the issue of not being a fan of NAT on firewalls which has become rather common for just about everyone. It is an old protocol after all. Some firewalls do manage it OK though it seems.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE. Linux lads lambast sorry state of Skype service

      Linux may be a competitor but so is Android and OSX and iOS but Skype works and is given more love on those clients i believe. so is MS Office which works on all those devices but unless you have a 365 subscription and a compatible browser no MS Office for Linux either. :-(

      Either we need a Skype client for Linux direct from MS or an independent one that can make and receive Skype calls.

      Get rid of the walled gardens in voice comms and messaging.

      A client that can do Jabber, Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp, etc all in one client would be killer. But no chance of that :-(

  8. Mikel

    Wait, what?

    Penguinisas who didn't uninstall Skype the day the Microsoft acquisition was announced? What kind of bizarre alternate reality have I fallen into?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait, what?

      It isnt more bizarre than the reality they apparently already live in...

      Penguinistas - Who poke out their own eye the day it sees a woman who isn't their wife. Who burn down their house because someone they dislike buys one just like it. Who stop drinking water because they learn their hated neighbour drinks it too...etc, etc...

      1. kryptylomese

        Re: Wait, what?

        Penguinistas do none of those things - they just cannot be bothered with the crap the Mirosoft pushes. Further "Who burn down their house because someone they dislike buys one just like it" - er... Linux is the most common operating system on the planet!

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Wait, what?

          "Penguinistas do none of those things - they just cannot be bothered with the crap the Mirosoft pushes."

          So what's the problem with Skype then if Linux users don't even want it?

          You yourself have claimed on these forums that Windows software in Wine runs better than in Windows. Ergo, Linux users needing Skype should just use Wine.

    2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Wait, what?

      "Penguinisas who didn't uninstall Skype the day the Microsoft acquisition was announced?"

      I did! Microsoft is not trustworthy.

    3. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Wait, what?

      >Penguinisas who didn't uninstall Skype the day the Microsoft acquisition was announced? What kind of bizarre alternate reality have I fallen into?

      Some of us have managers, who read Windows IT Pro and think that's gospel ... I have skype on Mac, Linux, and Windows at home and yes, the Linux version is better, it has no ads ... maybe all this is just part of the bigger plan, get ads into the Linux client .... forcing users to upgrade, however, MS in their inifinite wisdom, cut off the branch before the alternate was ready ...

      Like some years ago, when all of a sudden you could no longer log on ... it was complaining about an invalid username/password .... until you downloaded the latest Skype version .... !@#$%!#%#@

      Stay clear of that shit, I tell ya!

  9. WatAWorld

    It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

    ""Linux is actively being used by power users who can not or do not want to use Windows because of a lack of features, and now, those (paying) users who used Skype for both Business and Private purposes are dropped by Skype."

    It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

    1. kryptylomese

      Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

      Linux is missing this Microsoft propitiatory feature because Microsoft have made it that way but the Linux people only need it to talk to people running Windows and that number is diminishing so this is an issue that will become relevant and before you say "year of the Linux desktop" you should know that Google live without Windows and so do lots of governments etc and the number is growing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

      Actually, I'm going to leave Windows because it has too many features - the new spyware ones.

      Anyway, Linux users that talks about "lack of features" by Windows - yes, it you call Linux lack of features "features", then, yes, Linux has many more... and maybe beng a really tiny percentage of desktop users (Skype is pretty useless on servers) - because of truly lack of features for many users who aren't a linux/web developer or a sysadmin (or some uni researcher who didn't get a Mac) - explains why Microsoft is not investing much resources in the Linux Skype client - especially if an even more small percentage pays for Skype credit - Linux desktop users are not among those usually credited to be willingly to pay for software or services.

      1. Maventi

        Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

        "Linux desktop users are not among those usually credited to be willingly to pay for software or services."

        Rubbish. Actual evidence shows that Linux users are generally more generous when it comes to paying up; look at the Humble Bundle stats for an example.

        I use Linux (and OS X and to a lesser extent, Windows) and I've paid for all of my software that requires it. I've also volunteered to donate to many distros, LibreOffice, Mozilla, OpenWRT and many, many others. Many more than once. Experience with colleagues and friends shows exactly the same pattern.

        We don't use Linux because it's free as in beer, we use it because most distros are insanely well-featured out of the box and generally much more so than Windows (although the latter can be brought up to scratch after install a plethora of third-party products, many of which are FOSS). We can try anything we like with no activation hoops or license hassles to worry about. When we find something we like, we use it and donate whatever we feel it is worth to us. Simple and painless.

        We also like the ability to change vendor and keep our apps and stuff if things ever go south. Not that I've had to exercise that feature often, but it's good to know it can be done.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

          Frankly, I've see most Linux users willingly to pay for software moving to OSX. Fairly more stable *nix-like platform, and far better software available.

          Donating a few dollars to some FOSS project is very different than paying for licenses, or, like the case of Skype, buying "credits" to send SMS or call phones.

          Maybe *you* don't use Linux just because it is free, but many, many others just use it because it is free and now cracking Windows is a bit more difficult than it used to be.

          And if Linux would have been a viable platform, a lot of software would have been ported to it. The very fact it wasn't, it's exactly because nobody sees a market for desktop commercial software on Linux, because of the 1.4% of users, an even smaller percentage will buy it.

          And if you feel your platform is so superior, stop complaining that little ugly software from Microsoft is not available, enjoy your superior software and be happy... nobody cares of the innumerable FOSS messaging apps? Ask yourself why...

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge

          Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

          >We don't use Linux because it's free as in beer, we use it because most distros are insanely well-featured out of the box and generally much more so than Windows (although the latter can be brought up to scratch after install a plethora of third-party products, many of which are FOSS). We can try anything we like with no activation hoops or license hassles to worry about. When we find something we like, we use it and donate whatever we feel it is worth to us. Simple and painless.

          Spot on, we use Linux because it is like Windows Datacenter Edition, no imposed limitations (aka anti-features). Linux is an execllent desktop system, and a server system that is only beaten by FreeBSD, Windows Server (even Datacenter Edition) is not even in the same galaxy.

          Windows is for n00bs ...

    3. PNGuinn
      Joke

      Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

      Back in the bad old days before my conversion .... I believe it was called the BSOD or something.

      It seemed to be an essential part of the winzoze experience at that time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

        It's funny how Linux people have to desperately hang to things of the past... while BSODs were maybe common twenty years ago - Win95 and NT times, and even then usually because of a bad driver - it's a long time they are a rare sight - unless you use truly crappy hardware with crappy drivers - or your machine is full of malware applications each fighting to install its bad written rootkit drivers over the others.

        Remember, a user application can crash but can't trigger a BSOD, only something happening in the kernel can trigger it.

        For the matter, I've also seen a lot of kernel panics as well, due to crappy kernel modules...

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge

          Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

          >It's funny how Linux people have to desperately hang to things of the past... while BSODs were maybe common twenty years ago - Win95 and NT times ....

          Over the course of six months, Windows 7 gave me more BSOD's than all other Windows versions I have used (starting with 3.0 ....), combined. It was complaining about power management on a HP Elitebook, and no driver update helped, upgrading the system to Linux solved the issue - I could even call the piece of shit a laptop with Linux, since I could unplug power and stilll use WIFI (In Windows, I had to REBOOT after unplugging the power cord to get WIFI to work). Awaking from sleep gave me approx 1 in 5 chance of a BSOD.

          That was a HP laptop with Windows 7 as shipped by HP.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

            "that was a HP laptop with Windows 7 as shipped by HP."

            You gave yourself the answer. All the crappy software HP installs on its systems will just degrade any system. Install from scratch without all the "utilities" and any OS - including Windows 7 - will work flawlessly.

          2. Vince

            Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

            ...and the cause of those bluescreens will have been almost certainly problems with third party software and drivers, but not windows itself. Proper *windows* caused BSOD's are really quite rare.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

      "It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need."

      Linux doesn't lack video conferencing software. But it no longer has a currently developed Skype client because MS stopped developing it. Which is odd because it's probably not a huge step to port the OSX version

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

        "Which is odd because it's probably not a huge step to port the OSX version"

        Linux and OSX may have a lot of common things but the Cocoa APIs for Audio/Video/GUI stuff are probably so different that porting could be done from the Windows version just as well.

        If you need to port something that works only on CLI and it's already compiled with say, GCC then it perhaps is not hard to port.

        If porting from OSX was easy you'd think there would be a lot of software ported. I'm not familiar with any big software project that was ported from OSX to Linux.

    5. John Sanders
      Meh

      Re: It seems Linux lacks a feature these so-called power users are finding they need.

      Linux is not missing anything, Skype is a closed walled garden.

      Also it is the rest of the world that uses Skype what forces us to use it.

  10. bazza Silver badge

    "We do understand that Linux is a competitor of Microsoft's Windows. But we do not understand why this results in a lack of support for Skype," the pair's online protest states.

    Err, unfortunately Linux doesn't really compete against Windows on the desktop. That's why MS aren't interested. It's not like they pathologically hate anything non-Windows, they do support Android, OS X, iOS. Like anyone else trying to make money out of software they have to go with the flow.

    Having said that, MS joining up with the Wine guys and making that better would be a low cost and effective plan B for MS, and ought to please those who do use Linux as a desktop.

    1. kryptylomese

      Google do not use Windows on the Desktop and neither do a growing number of companies, governments and organisations. Do you really think that a modern forward thinking organisational like Google cannot work out which desktop operating system is better? Microsoft know that too and that is why they are doing everything they can to try and stop it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Google is rammed with tech-heads, so not surprising they can use Linux. But normal people do not have the time to get a doctorate in Comp.Sci. then learn mark-down and the Vi keybindings just so they can write a letter.

        Some places have tried Linux, Munich is an example. Guess what? It failed (too hard to use, too expensive) and they are going back to Windows.

        Every year we hear of all these massive changes coming, and every year Linux fails to deliver. Can we just stop this broken record?

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Munich?

          http://www.techrepublic.com/article/no-munich-isnt-about-to-ditch-free-software-and-move-back-to-windows/

          http://www.zdnet.com/article/munich-sheds-light-on-the-cost-of-dropping-linux-and-returning-to-windows/

          Unless you have more *recent* news?

          1. kryptylomese

            Re: Munich?

            More up to date news:-

            http://www.ocsmag.com/2015/08/24/no-munich-is-not-considering-ditching-linux-and-going-back-to-windows/

            They never planned to switch back that was just Microsoft hoping!

        2. kryptylomese

          My 74 year old mother uses Ubuntu and she is not from a technical background and do you really think that the whole of all the governments and other organisations are full of tech heads?

          Munich is using Linux and has stated categorically that they have never had a plan to move away from it, so stop spreading nonsense!

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_adopters

          Linux has already delivered - maybe you should actually listen to the record?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          'Some places have tried Linux, Munich is an example. Guess what? It failed (too hard to use, too expensive) and they are going back to Windows.'

          Microsoft were prepared to move their head office (to Munich) with all the unbelievable cost that would entail to try to influence the procurement process.

          http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/4/2014/08/19/munich_dumping_linux_for_windows/#c_2274193

          1. Chemist

            Just like you to mis-quote something from 2014. As others have ref. from this year there is no truth in the FUD

          2. Hans 1 Silver badge

            Stop the MS FUD BS sewage, there are "many", "many", local governments around the world, even in France, that have switched to Linux, even more schools, the French Gendarmerie is using Linux as well, and slowly moving all desktops to it. The tax office is using OpenOffice, same ...

            Munich is not biggoted, they keep an eye open for alternatives, like any IT service "should do", to cut costs even further. No options are ignored ... even MS ... yet, they would need a compelling offer from MS, which have probably already offered them the whole Microsoft platform free of charge, including support, yet even that is still more expensive than Linux.... just saying ...

    2. PNGuinn
      Mushroom

      "Err, unfortunately Linux doesn't really compete against Windows on the desktop."

      I wouldn't b****y well use it if it did.

  11. frank ly
    Windows

    I'm getting old

    "To be a functioning member of society today, Skype is pretty much unavoidable ..."

    The world had changed and I don't feel part of it anymore.

    1. Mint Sauce
      WTF?

      Re: I'm getting old

      Beat me to it...

      TIL: I'm not a functioning member of society.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: I'm getting old

      I think its more like 'wasting time using Skype' rather than functioning.

      I've used it to talk to Gran and Grandad in darkest countries here and there but I've never felt it is anywhere near usable for business on a one to one basis let alone group gabble.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: I'm getting old

        Well I'm getting old too (aren't we all), but so far I've never once used Skype. It just isn't a part of my world. What's more, these days I seem to be too busy to even consider the idea. All my family and friends have phones, and many of them are close enough for me to just walk to them.

    3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: I'm getting old

      "To be a functioning member of society today, Skype is pretty much unavoidable ..."

      Funny, I've never *needed* Skype. Sure, it's been nice to use on occasion, but the number of times I used Skype as an actual Skype client, as opposed to a way to dial-in to an toll-free conference number, is insignificant. I could just as readily used Google Voice, or the suXfinity dialer app on my tablet.

  12. kryptylomese

    Shame on you Microsoft

    OK so more and more companies, governments and organisations are switching to Linux on the desktop and Linux has destroyed Microsoft in the server segment as well as the mobile phone sector. We get it, you are scared and will do everything you can to keep pushing out crap software, but we will try to make your death as painless as possible R.I.P. Microsoft Windows

  13. simpfeld

    What happened to "Both Microsoft and I love Linux"

    What happened to we are a new Microsoft, what happened to:

    "Both Microsoft and I love Linux, and just days after Valentine's Day, I am ecstatic to showcase this love with several new announcements to provide you with even more open choice and flexibility for your cloud deployments on Azure," said Corey Sanders, director of program management on Azure.

    Now I know MS is a big company, but if you are serious about Azure and you don't want to frighten the Azure Linux horses, you shouldn't do this. The word should go out company wide.

    It just makes us think you might drop our Linux support on Azure when it suits you! I already was concerned about this and you are just confirming my fears.

    And it makes you looks like slimly expedient eels.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: It just makes us think you might drop our Linux support on Azure when it suits you

      Microsoft cannot drop Linux support on Azure because without Linux Azure is dead in its tracks.

      Linux is what Microsoft uses for its networking - packet switching and stuff if I'm not mistaken - because only Linux has the grunt and reliability that such an activity requires.

      Presumably, Microsoft first tried with Win2K servers and the whole thing never took off.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: What happened to "Both Microsoft and I love Linux"

      > It just makes us think you might drop our Linux support on Azure when it suits you! I already was concerned about this and you are just confirming my fears.

      They will drop Linux support, all of a sudden with no advance warning, the day they manage to control cloud - that is the plan, sad thing is (for them), they will never control the cloud.

  14. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Come on, it is abandonware, just look at the packages

    Surely, do you expect a piece of software which in year 2016 does not have a 64 bit build and a 64 bit package and requires you to install 32 bit compatibility to be anything but abandonware? Surely?

    Not that other bugware in this category is any different. Webex for Linux has been in this state for nearly a decade now (audio + sharing work only if you run it in a 32 bit chroot or 32 bit container).

    The only case where you get working Linux desktop software is when a small company does it. The moment it goes to a big one, the resource management goes into the hands of a PM who 99% of the cases is using Windows and justifying any resource expenditure by official Gartner OS share stats.

  15. Charles Manning

    Microsoft promised to keep supporting Skyope for Linux

    Well fool me once, shame on you.

    Fool me twice, no three, .... no a bajillion times - shame on me.

    Microsoft never lives up to these promises.

    Anyone that believes a Microsoft promise is either naive or a complete idiot - take your pick.

  16. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Absolutely classic Microsoft...

    ..Embrace, extend, extinguish.

    Linuxistas "You have broken Skype"

    Microsoft "Yes, sorry about that, it doesn't have blah blah blah, you have to upgrade to a better OS"

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Absolutely classic Microsoft...

      It's not like they didn't do the exact same thing to Windows XP too - made sure the newer clients don't run on it then they made sure the old ones can't connect any more. Skype is nothing but a sharp stick to poke people towards Win10 with these days...

  17. Nigel 11

    Short term gain, long term lose

    Now Microsoft has completely cut off Linux Skype, the open source community will be forced to write an easy to install Windows client for an open equivalent.

    So Microsoft will repeat the Internet Explorer history. A short-term gain, during which time some businesses do it the Microsoft way and just ignore the growing number of customers who can't or won't run IE to access their IE-only web service. Then Mozilla and Safari and Chrome and the growing realisation that they are losing customers and being slagged off by those potential customers. Ending with Microsoft being handicapped by having to support open WWW standards properly while still maintaining backward compatibility with ancient MS server-side proprietary rubbish that's still embedded in "mission-critical" intranet stuff.

    Those who fail to remember their history are doomed to re-live it. Prediction: a decade from now Skype will be dying out.

  18. jphb

    Linux and Skype

    Well I've just used the Skype "echo test" serivce and it worked perfectly with my Linux Skype client. IThe robot assured me that my Skype client was configured correctly. Am I missing something?

    1. Tromos

      Re: Linux and Skype

      Yes

  19. Andy Non
    Thumb Down

    Huge step backwards

    Communications should be ubiquitous and independent of operating system. We expect to be able to phone people irrespective of whether they are subscribers to BT, Virgin, EE, Three, TalkTalk etc or even foreign international telephone companies. Same goes for email and SMS. Voice and video over IP should be no different. Can you imagine if BT said customers of Virgin could no longer phone their land line customers? There should be clearly defined international open standards and software developed for voice and video over IP. None of this proprietary lock in stuff.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Huge step backwards

      Just Skype, Whatsapp and so on are exactly the opposite. Proprietary walled gardens designed to keep you locked-in, while extracting as much as value from you as the can.

      At least Skype lets you call plain phones, and message them as well - without having to sell your whole phonebook to them for free.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Huge step backwards

        "At least Skype lets you call plain phones, and message them as well - without having to sell your whole phonebook to them for free."

        HAHAHAHAHA. Because Skype on Android doesn't require permission to access the phonebook (and everything else under the sun while it's at it). Oh wait - IT DOES...

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Huge step backwards

      There should be clearly defined international open standards and software developed for voice and video over IP. None of this proprietary lock in stuff.

      Um, there are. There's loads of SIP software phones available for Linux, Windows, Android and even IOS.

      The trouble is, Skype managed to fool everyone into thinking that VoIP means Skype, but that's actually not true at all.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bugger

    There goes the last readable skype interface down the crapper then.

    Cartoony speech bubbles for everyone to cut the text per page by 50% then.

  21. bexley

    It works for me

    I had a call with a windows user yesterday and it worked fine

  22. Adair

    Try...

    Firefox Hello - in my experience it seems to work absolutely fine in basic one to one mode;

    TOX - also seems to work fine, but a bit more of a hassle to set up (at least it was when I tried it a year ago).

    1. The Travelling Dangleberries

      Re: Try...

      Great if you could point me to a working TOX client that will run MacOSX Snow Leopard.

      At the moment Skype works for my OS agnostic family, different users use various versions/flavours of Windows, MacOSX, Linux and Android. I don't know of any IM/Video chat client that supports all of these platforms and works when you install it.

      Among the alternatives I have tried, Ekiga (could not get it to connect reliably on the same home network that Skype ran fine on), Jitsi, I like it the fact that the UI is consistent over platforms makes support much easier - this is important as it means all the menus on my Linux version of Jitsi are in the same place as Jitsi running on the OS of my elderly relatives computers. Jitsi with video chat is not a resource hog and runs fine on a Linux EEEPC 701. On the down side, a while back they cut support for older versions of MacOSX and then put it back. Then video chat (XMPP network) on the version for Snow Leopard did not work the last time I tried it. Google Hangouts require you to have a Google account (not all of the people I chat with have that), Pidgin seems to work fine but I am the only one using that as a way into Google Talk. TOX, I could not get it to run under MacOSX Snow Leopard the last time I tried it.

      Besides the problems of trying to get all your contacts to switch to another IM platform, there are a range of other problems trying to run multiple chat messengers on the same machine. MacOSX seems to be unable to share a webcam between different programs that need it (reboot to start using Jitsi instead of Skype for instance) - maybe newer versions of MacOSX have solved that problem.

      I think the only way forwards is to make sure that all widely available protocols (such as the ones that Skype uses) are open sourced and properly documented. Start with protocols that have a user base of 100,000 users or more. This would allow any IM/video chat client project (whether open or closed source, commercial or hobby) to implement connectivity to all of the major networks, thus allowing us to choose the client we want to use and support.

  23. Ammendiable to persuasion..

    I recommend appear.in

    Allows group chats. Has a good business model. Is completely free. Doesn't require registration. Just requires a browser with NO plugins (as long as the browser is not made by Apple or Microsoft).

    It does NOT use a social networking model. Does not use email or phone numbers.

    It has a client for both iOS and Android users.

    It uses WebRTC which is why you can't use it on Safari or Explorer/Edge..

    Pretty awesome and original design!

    Oh yes. Easy to use.

  24. Mikey

    Loving the irony

    So what we have here, is a bunch of very vocal Linux users, most likely the very same who would be the first to denounce and decry any other form of Microsoft software, now crying out because the very software they would never go back to is unavailable, possibly because of the lack of people using it to begin with (due to the apparent mass migration to Linux, because Microsoft etc)?

    And as for that wonderful tweet about "Microsoft making using Linux painful"... No, I'm pretty sure that the Linux coders have been making it painful for years long before anyone else took an interest. When techies write an OS for techies, it's going to be technical. It's only due to the recent efforts by those who could see the potential monetary value in making it more accessible to the majority of end users (Ubuntu springs readily to mind here) that ease-of-use has become a major factor.

    Lastly, there are more than likely going to be dozens of FOSS projects revolving around making a better alternative to the 'Evil Proprietary Micro$haft EevilEvilBadBad' out there already. Just get the community to rally around the best one, polish it up, and present it as a cross-platform, highly usable and FREE alternative and voila. Another choice. I know, I know... it's harder to do that than complain, and it DOES involve trying to get many disparate coders to unify in one coherent and well-planned project, but IF that can be accomplished, wouldn't that be better for everyone as a whole?

    Or else just use something like TeamSpeak, Mumble or Discord. Free, easy to use, cross platform, blah blah blah.

    1. kryptylomese

      Re: Loving the irony

      Skype was not written by Microsoft - they bought it and now they are making things difficult. What sort of progressive thinking person supports that?

      All operating systems are written by techies, or do you think Windows was written by preschool children? (actually now you come to think of it....)

      Android is based on Linux and has a great user experience and both my 74 year old mother and my 8 year old son use Ubuntu without having to ask me how to do anything.

      Linux already has lots of VOIP options including full blown open source telephone exchanges "asterix" but you seem to have missed the point the Microsoft have just pulled the rug from under the feet of people who use Linux but have to talk to less fortunate people that use Windows so now they have to ask the Windows person to install something new.

      1. Jess

        Re: so now they have to ask the Windows person to install something new.

        Fortunately there is a way to work around this using Chrome or Firefox (or Opera).

        Sign up for http://www.getonsip.com

        Log into https://web.skype.com/en/ and getonsip

        You can then IM the contact over Skype and send them the Receive inbound calls url

        (There is a lot more that can be done too, that I outlined in an earlier post)

        I'm not sure why people are so obsessed with Skype. It is a pretty poor system. The only thing going for it is the ease of setup. IMs are sometimes extremely unreliable.

        The biggest problem though (other than dropping support for systems, all these problems happened with PPC Macs, Symbian and early Win Pho a couple of years back, too) is that it constantly shows contacts as online who aren't.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Loving the irony

        > All operating systems are written by techies, or do you think Windows was written by preschool children? (actually now you come to think of it....)

        .

        Actually, I think those preschool children are the ones who designed the Metro/MSWin10 interfaces and icons. Using dull crayons.

        (as opposed to the dried-up fingerpaints that were used for "Material Design" and whatever Apple calls their equivalent abomination)

    2. Ammendiable to persuasion..

      Re: Loving the irony

      Not really. For the past several years i managed an internet cafe where I managed to convince the owner to switch to Ubuntu from the highly insecure and timewise problematical Windows boxes (where no matter how I locked these puppies down still managed to alter their behaviour by the end of the week.)

      [Disclaimer. I am not am expert, but am an enthusiast with far too much time under my belt with dealing with the stupidity of numerous operating environments and I WAS donating my time.]

      Maintenance was a dream and I even themed the systems so they looked just like a Windows 7 system.

      It was adorable watching the contents of the Download folders to see what the fools (er customers) were trying to install.. Repeatability, I might add.. They never noticed they were not using Windows even though several times i noticed folks were trying to install IEXPLORER.EXE on repeat occasions. Steam and Flash were other popular installers, as well as software used to root or reset phones. It didn't help things that I eventually found the owner had a habit of giving out the admin password to anyone who asked. A behaviour I finally managed to cure. [Cue the LART]

      This cafe was in an area visited by travelers from all around the world, and they would sit down and chat with their family in Germany and Brazil and such using Skype.

      The main problem arose when Microsoft purchased Skype and the former universal standard stopped working so well... Followed by "not at all" and having the computers freeze up. (Probably a memory leak.)

      Additionally the new and improved Skype installation DEB file download began requesting a #HUGE# additional installation of proprietary binaries from Microsoft's servers which was quite out of proportion to Skype installations of the past.

      Seeing this is done as root and allowed Microsoft to put anything/anywhere, WITH the added benefit of it basically ceased to allow connections as Microsoft began updating their clients on Windows, was a fairly good reason to ban the thing from the computers as potential malware.

      So the search was on for something that would not cause pain to user. Was cross platform. Was free. And preferably did not require a registration. Getting Grandma in France to use different software was bad enough, but walking her through an installation/registration is completely out of the question, especially if you don't have communication in the first place.

      Firefox Helo seemed to be the best compromise at the time but nobody knew it was there. (And you couldn't call landlines nor use mobile devices.)

      It's not that Linux guys don't want to use Microsoft products [this one doesn't] but that Microsoft purchased and ruined a perfectly good almost universally used standard (when they had their own) in order to reduce competition in the market.

      Good job!

      Oh yes. Before I disguised the computers with a Windows theme, I did notice American users were quite scared off by the Linux boxes but the foreign folks took it in stride. (And sometimes thanked me for not running Windows..)

  25. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Redditor dont_think_so_ says "To be a functioning member of society today, Skype is pretty much unavoidable

    Yea, that's a Redditor all right.

    How can we euthanize these types of "functioning members of society" as fast and painlessly as possible?

  26. SecretSonOfHG

    Teamviewer works fine under Linux

    And it is easy to spot that it uses Wine libraries, and the current Skype Linux version does the same. I understand MS's reluctance to contribute to Wine (an open source project aiming to execute natively Windows binaries) just to make Skype work, but ironically, Skpe is listed under Wine's compatibility page as "bronze" only because video chat does not work... so it can't be that hard to add a Linux layer to that part of Skype to overcome the issue and call it a day?

    And yes, Hangouts work nicely in at least two Linux distros I've tried, so it is clearly doable even without resorting to Wine.

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Teamviewer works fine under Linux

      > I understand MS's reluctance to contribute to Wine (an open source project aiming to execute natively Windows binaries)

      .

      I've thought Microsoft should have signed up with the ReWind project just after they split off from the main Wine project. Then they could have thrown out ALL their crufty legacy kernel code and built a whole new "MSWindows" on top of one of the BSDs, using ReWind as the compatibility layer. I still think they should just adopt Wine for a compatibility layer and just remove the old APIs from the main kernel.

  27. Dr_Barnowl

    Try a WebRTC session

    Now that basically every major mainstream browser supports it, try a WebRTC session

    https://talky.io

    https://vline.com

    Or Firefox Hello, etc.

    1. Havin_it

      Re: Try a WebRTC session

      I ran through this thread wondering why nobody had mentioned WebRTC yet. The natural conclusion tends to be that there's something dreadfully sub-optimal about it...

      Is there a catch?

  28. David1

    What problem?

    Can anybody tell me WTF the complaint is about?

    I have checked today, and I find that Skype works fine between Linux and MSWindows, for video calls and text both ways.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux market share

    So I'm posting anonymously for the first time ever to avoid a shit storm, but I used to work as a Senior Software Engineer at Skype and had regular run ins with Mark Gillette, their CTO.

    At one point, I asked him straight up why the Linux client has had so little work done to it and he had a straight answer:

    The number of users of Skype on Linux isn't large enough to justify the support costs of maintaining that platform version.

    That's all there is to it. They're not anti Linux (Skype uses a lot of Linux kit internally) but if a product isn't commercially viable, how do you justify the costs of the update?

    I don't have access to the usage data any more but IIRC Linux was around 1-2%.

    It would be better for Skype to allow interoperability between its comms tech and others, like XMPP and the new Web voice/video chat stuff, but that's unlikely right now.

    1. Jess

      Re: why the Linux client has had so little work done

      The lack of development is less of an issue that blocking old versions from working.

      Version 2.8 was the last PPC version on OS X and it's quite a pleasant use interface. I would choose it in preference to the newer versions, even when it's not the only option. Unfortunately they broke the video compatibility a long time ago, and then blocked it a couple of years ago.

      It is (or was) possible to modify a few strings to presumably make it lie about what version it is, and then it still connected fine. (Obviously no video except to similar old versions)

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