back to article Native Skype for Windows Phone walked behind shed, shot heard

Microsoft's killed off a native Skype client for Windows Phone. WinPho users won't be alone: Redmond will also discontinue Skype clients on Android 4.02 or lower and iOS 7. Microsoft has already announced that OS X and Linux will lose native clients under its Skype-for-the-cloud strategy. Rather than announcing the shift, …

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  1. Spoonguard
    Mushroom

    OLD MAN SHOUTS AT CLOUD

    1. TheProf
      Joke

      A down vote?

      Oh Spoonguard. When will you consider of the sensibilities of others before you post your inflammatory statements?

  2. noddybollock

    Gun pointed at Foot

    They have already pissed of load's of people with the withdrawal of skype on Samsung tv's.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gun pointed at Foot

      .. especially since you had to buy a brutally overpriced external Samsung-only USB camera to get it going in the first place (which you can't recycle for use anywhere else), so it's not exactly an upvote for Samsung either.

  3. Dead Parrot

    I've been dragging my heels over Skype...

    ...but it's time to move on, I think. Has anyone looked at Brosix? It seems to tick all the boxes.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: I've been dragging my heels over Skype...

      Oh, they got a free trial...? Yup, just what I wanted as a cloud refugee...

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: I've been dragging my heels over Skype...

        The "Personal" version is free. The free trials are for the "Enterprise" paid versions. Not that this info is too easy to find on their site. ;-)

        Crossing my fingers on that they'll keep the Personal version free, though.

      2. Dead Parrot

        Re: I've been dragging my heels over Skype...

        Eh? Free for personal use and a free trial for the business version seems fair to me, especially since it seems to be cheaper than Skype for Business.

        (Edit: Plus, it looks like it works on older platforms. And there's a Linux version that hasn't just been shot in the face)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've been dragging my heels over Skype...

      Has anyone looked at Brosix? It seems to tick all the boxes.

      Yup. US company, so by default privacy-impaired. Shame, it looks good.

    3. Grifter

      Re: I've been dragging my heels over Skype...

      >> Has anyone looked at Brosix?

      I asked the same question in a previous skype article, I got no answers but 10 downvotes (for some reason, go figure). I haven't tried brosix myself yet but I'd be eager to hear your opinion of it. Wanting a native linux client rather than a webbified version it seems there are two main options, brosix and discord. Opinions/experiences on either are very welcome, please share all the good/bad if you have any.

      1. Dead Parrot

        Re: I've been dragging my heels over Skype...

        A native Linux client is my main requirement as well. I've pulled down the Portable x64 one for testing (which fires up OK), and Parrot Snr is going to grab the Windows client so I have someone to talk to: Watch this space...

  4. Captain DaFt

    Damn!

    And here I thought I was only kidding!

  5. P. Lee Silver badge

    Cloud - The two edged sword

    If all you provide is a pop, webrtc and an addressbook, anyone can replicate that.

    If all MS are providing is the fact that if you don't have a skype account then you can't contact skype-connected people, then they are going to be in trouble. They don't have the locked-down clients Apple have for facetime - an application I shun purely because it is Apple-only.

  6. frank ly Silver badge

    Numbers please

    "... if it focuses resources on the platforms Skype users prefer. "

    What are their figures for platform usage and how did they determine user preferences?

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: Numbers please

      "... if it focuses resources on the platforms Skype users prefer. "

      "... if it focuses resources on the platforms Skype users Microsoft (and the NSA) prefer. "

      FTFY

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Numbers please

        IMHO this has more to do with SNA (Satya NAdella) stupid marketing techniques than NSA. Probably he wants to add all Skype accounts to the numbers of MS cloud users, and promote a phone OS he killed together Lumia development. Skype already lost a lot of users who moved to other applications especially for messaging. The less users you can reach, the less need for Skype.

        While roundtrips to and from the 'cloud' will just add lag and other issues to voice calls.

  7. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Now they just have to take the rest of the Skype clients to their last veterinary visit and I'll be satisfied.

    Skype is too damned invasive and tries to damned hard to be my bestest buddy.

    1. Thought About IT

      This is what I call intrusive

      A lot of people I know are now using WhatsApp instead of Skype, so I checked how intrusive it is:

      Permissions

      Use your microphone

      Use devices that support Near Field Communication (NFC) services

      Use your location

      Use your webcam

      Use your device’s voice over IP (VoIP) services

      Use your maps

      Use an anonymous Microsoft account

      Use information about your device

      Use your device network services

      Use your phone

      Use any of your Windows Phone sensors

      Access your browser

      Use your rear- or front-facing camera

      Use your contacts

      Use the appointments in your calendar

      Use your music

      Use the photos in your media library

      Use the media items that are currently playing

      Access your Internet connection and act as a server.

      Use data stored on an external storage device

      Use your video library

      NSA/GCHQ, eat your heart out!

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: This is what I call intrusive

        And which ones do you think it doesn't need to use?

        1. Novex

          Re: This is what I call intrusive

          And which ones do you think it doesn't need to use?

          Well, it's an internet video calling device/service, so it doesn't need to use quite a few things. I've had a quick guess at the following:

          Use your microphone - yes

          Use devices that support Near Field Communication (NFC) services - no

          Use your location - no

          Use your webcam - yes

          Use your device’s voice over IP (VoIP) services - yes

          Use your maps - no

          Use an anonymous Microsoft account - ?

          Use information about your device - maybe

          Use your device network services - yes

          Use your phone - no

          Use any of your Windows Phone sensors - no

          Access your browser - no

          Use your rear- or front-facing camera - yes

          Use your contacts - yes

          Use the appointments in your calendar - no

          Use your music - no

          Use the photos in your media library - no

          Use the media items that are currently playing - no

          Access your Internet connection... - yes

          ...and act as a server - ?

          Use data stored on an external storage device - no

          Use your video library - no

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: This is what I call intrusive

            How could you send a photo or video if it can't access them?

            1. Novex

              Re: This is what I call intrusive

              How could you send a photo or video if it can't access them?

              It's need verses want. I don't need to have such capability to make a video or audio call. I might find it useful, a 'nice to have', but it certainly isn't a need.

          2. Candy

            Re: This is what I call intrusive

            All music/video items are used to pause/restart whatever is playing so you can take/make a call. Also for custom ring tones.

            Photos are used to send/receive images and to select an avatar,

            Use data on external devices required if any of the above data items is stored on an SD card.

            Use your phone is used to switch to/from calls over your MSP service.

            Anonymous MS account is a way to associate the device with an account without logging on so that Skype can ring when it gets a call even if you aren't yet logged into it.

            Information about device is used to determine device capabilities. (Screen resolution, number of microphones, noise cancellation, etc.

            Sensors is used for several things. One example is proximity to auto switch on/off the speaker when you put the phone down or pick it up.

            Act as a server is required under the current perr-to-peer environment to do things like group calls.

            The ones I don't know about are location, maps and calendar access. Anyone else?

            NFC is used for contact 'bumps'. (I assume.)

          3. graeme leggett

            Re: This is what I call intrusive

            The problem - as ever - is lack of clarity as to why it needs access to things. Now I've ideas why some of those permissions might be required (asked for).

            "Use any of your Windows Phone sensors - no"

            Is this so it can swop between portrait and landscape formats?

            "Use the appointments in your calendar - no"

            Some (perceived) added functionality around checking a call won't interrupt a meeting, or to initiate a call at a set time??

            "Use your music - no

            Use the photos in your media library - no

            Use the media items that are currently playing - no

            Use data stored on an external storage device - no

            Use your video library - no "

            I wonder if any of these so that it can share things during a Skype conversation or to screenshot, or so that it can interrupt them playing.

  8. Likkie

    hmm...

    And if Microsoft can't be bothered developing apps for Windows Phone, will anyone else?

    That's the whole point really isn't it. Sad really.

    I recently had to set up a Windows Phone for one of my users (we were strictly iPhone before that.) and I was very impressed. It really is a very nice smart phone. It's too bad they were so late to the party with a decent OS. They could have been (and still may be) a major player.

    1. mark 177

      Re: hmm...

      I agree with you, except for "still may be...a major player".

      They missed the boat long ago.

    2. mas9973

      Re: hmm...

      I do love my Windows Phone... Lumia 950XL Dual SIM.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like something else ms have bought and are killing. Maybe this is the new business model.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Maybe this is the new business model.

      Embrace Extend Extinguish is as old as the hills. I'm surprised I'm the first to type it on this thread tbh...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'll be available on Windows Mobile

    Skype native app will be discontinued for Windows Phone(7, 8, 8.1). But Skype is availale as a full featured native app on Windows Mobile(10). Update your phone and don't get cut off. The Register didn't mention that which will create confusion.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: It'll be available on Windows Mobile

      I know windows phones are cheap when compared to iPhones and Galaxy S* models but do you really think that someone will go out and replace a perfectly good phone with a Windows 10 abomination just so that they can continue to use a full fat version of the Skype client?

      Oh wait...

      Yes... people are that stupid.

      Perhaps this is the MS Cunning plan to achieve world mobile phone domination?

      Once the OSX/MacOS version of Skype stops working I'll be rid of MS for good.

      I did say that I'd gotten rid of all MS products but I forgotten that I still used Skype from time to time.

      Looks like I'll be looking for an alternative that runs on Linux, MacOs and Windows pretty soon then.

      Would Apple dare to step into the breach and release Messenger for Windows? Hmmmm

      It is a real shame that MS buys a product and then proceeds to shaft the users like this. Happens pretty well every time they open their wallet. The MS Kiss of death. Does anyone in Redmond ever look at the number of users before and after and ....

      Like hell they would. They don't care about the users.

      1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: It'll be available on Windows Mobile

        Yup, I abandoned Skype the moment that Microsoft bought it. I do not trust them.

      2. cambsukguy

        Re: It'll be available on Windows Mobile

        So you think it is stupid to buy a Lumia 950 for £300 which has great hardware and a slick OS (and includes a continuum adapter) rather than a £650 iPhone which is a perfectly fine phone of course.

        I would say that the Lumia has an SD card slot and a removable battery and I am sure a noticeably superior camera. Also Windows Phone allows Bluetooth and NFX feature for sharing photos etc. that iPhone cannot do at all - no matter what the App. I wont go into the iOS one-button hassle because it will become a rant, and as for just-works, even the iPod I had to use has BT issues all the time, at one point being unable to see a perfectly visible device it had previous been paired with (and 'forgotten' because IT HAS NO DISCONNECT ability!) even after a full Factory reset.

        What WinPhone doesn't have is every App you could ever want of course, although it has Office well covered, a new (native) Skype App that is looking good and many usual suspect (Netflix). If this matters, fine, but don't go saying that a better phone for half the price isn't worth it because it is.

        The simple fact is that many, many apps work just as well as 'web' apps with wrappers, Trip Advisor is almost indistinguishable as a Web App, even though the pure WP8 App was very, very nice, it required constant change to keep up with the feature set (still runs mind you).

        What WP10 really needs is banks to create Web Wrapper Apps to mimic the web sites but with user name storage an PIN/Hello/Fingerprint protection perhaps and fill out some of the missing functionality.

        Since a Win10 App on the desktop would seriously benefit them (security-wise being outside the Browser proper along with using biometrics etc.) I am surprised they don't realise the obvious benefit an 'App' on the desktop for their Bank would given them, and us.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Update your phone

      As in install W10 on you Windows Phone (7, 8, 8.1) device. Not as in "replace the device".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It'll be available on Windows Mobile

      Why so many thumbs down? I've just said that the article can be misleading as full featured Skype UWP is available for Windows Mobile. Most of the existing Windows Phones can be upgraded to Windows Mobile 10. Still it's unfortunate that MS abandoned some Windows Phone users in dark who can't upgrade. But it's not true that MS abandoned their whole mobile platform(this article states that). They just renamed and started over again. And Skype client for iOS 7 and Android 4.0.3 and up is still available. What did I say wrong?

  11. Dagg

    Cloud based - not much use

    Having everything in the cloud sounds nice, the only problem is if you have a crap connection then don't even bother....

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Cloud based - not much use

      Whereas a crap connection isn't an issue for peer to peer skype?

  12. Steve Litchfield

    Bad reporting - Skype UWP part of Windows 10 Mobile etc.

    Sorry, but this article is just bad reporting. All active users of Windows Phone 8.1 devices (i.e. 2014 handsets onwards, roughly) have the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade a screen-tap or two away. And that includes the native Skype UWP (Universal Windows Platform) app. The exact same app as in Windows 10 on all other form factors, including PC.

    So let's not have this 'Microsoft abandons Skype on own platform' FUD.

    Steve (AAWP)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bad reporting - Skype UWP part of Windows 10 Mobile etc.

      Likewise, the headline talks about an Android version nobody actively uses is no longer supported.

      The difference is, Nobody is actively using ANY version of Windows Phone, it's a dead product. We had Microsoft in last week showing their roadmap, and Windows Phone wasn't part of it. Android and IOS was.. Microsoft have 100% given up on it, they might not be saying in the open, but they are saying it behind closed doors.

      All our Windows Phones (which users universally hate, and are used as second burner work phones), are now getting replaced with mid range Android devices, which users like, and which Microsoft support.

    2. Neil Alexander

      Re: Bad reporting - Skype UWP part of Windows 10 Mobile etc.

      "All active users of Windows Phone 8.1 devices (i.e. 2014 handsets onwards, roughly)"

      So, er, not all active users of Windows Phone 8.1 then.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does a web client work on a phone then?

    Do you have to leave the browser running to get notifications?

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: How does a web client work on a phone then?

      I don't know the spec, but there's a way for websites now to ask for permission for the browser to keep polling for notifications after the page is closed. Facebook use it, for example.

  14. roysage

    There's a Skype universal app - works on the phone too (magic like that)

    Skype discontinuing support on older OSs. There is a already a new Skype UWP (Universal Windows Platform, yeah?) which works on the desktop, on the phone, and on HoloLens (no doubt will make it Xbox too).

    It's time to start following the industry, if you plan to write about it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are plenty of apps out there with 'Skype-like' features

    Better apps too.

    As far as I see it, Skype is only useful if you somehow still need to contact your friends who are inexplicably still on MSN Messenger.

    Ditch your Microsoft account. You won't be missing much.

  16. Mug

    we all need to chill

    The tech media is having a field day. Only problem is the reporting is not accurate. It is true the app is being pulled from windows phone 7 & 8. It is not going anywhere with windows 10. So for this organization to rant about if Microsoft can't support the phone then how can others is trash talk. When Apple stops supporting older phones with new apps no one goes crazy. Apple does it more often than Microsoft.

  17. imaprinta

    I have had it with MS

    I really tried to go back after using a combo of IOS, Android and Linux. I figured they learned their lessons, got their act straight and were on track to run the table with an integrated OS on Windows Surface and Phone products. But once again they drop the ball. I have a Surface I have returned too many times to count, for various reasons. And a Windows Phone that not even they apparently have faith in and support anymore. No more adds. App support dropping like flies. Buggy hardware. I wanted to believe, even talked a friend into spending $400 for a WinPhone (that he had to return twice until he got one that wouldn't freeze). Win 10 Mobile still a work in progress. If I'm going to be on their testing and evaluation team, I should get compensated for it. I feel duped again. Not going to happen again. Bye bye, MS!!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am confused

    Either I don't understand or Microsoft is betting on decision.

    Skype didn't do so well now-a-day due to competition, where there are alternative solution to video chat, screen share, and voice chat. Application like facebook, google chat, viber, whatsapp, line, wechat (mixing in different desktop and mobile) have more consumer users based as they provide slight advantages to previous skype features (fewer bugs and errors).

    Microsoft to counter the competition is by heading toward cloud? Other than reduce support of older OS, It doesn't really put a clear advantage to skype other than data mining and maybe more stability, which doesn't mean much for the average consumers other than it no long works on their older device.

  19. ATeal

    FFS

    I've got a lot of Skype contacts, maybe I'll finally turn to Pidgin with its Skype plugin.

  20. Dwarf Silver badge

    Stench of death

    Why is there that stench of death on everything that Microsoft touches ?

    Yet at the same time, each of the changes are apparently for our own good and to improve the service (read generate more income from you)

    I've found that re evaluating my needs and reviewing the other options what's out generally leads to products not made by Microsoft.

    Desktop OS - not Microsoft

    Server OS - not Microsoft

    Gadget OS (Pi's) - not Microsoft

    Browser - not Microsoft

    Phone - definitely not Microsoft.

    Voice calling - Not Microsoft

    Games console - not Microsoft

    Keyboard - not Microsoft

    Mouse - Microsoft (what gives !)

    It all started with removal of Technet and Windows 8 and continues with the flawed everything in the cloud and subscription strategy.

    Feet and guns spring to mind.

  21. arctic_haze Silver badge

    No native Skype on Android?

    Good riddance. Now, how do I delete it from a Samsung phone? I did manage to disable it but still, why should I have 115MB of dead-weight storage?

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