back to article Microsoft boasted it had rebuilt Skype 'from the ground up'. Instead, it should have buried it

Microsoft last month declared that it had rebuilt its Skype app "from the ground up." Those who use the app have been busy tearing it down. Reviews of the Android and iOS versions of the app have been mostly terrible, and those posted to the Windows App Store have not been much better. Chief among the issues is that the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    These are not the reviews you 've been looking for. Move along.

    It will continue down that path and 90% of its users will find themselves using slack shortly.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      If they can do this to a simple thing like Skype, what might they do to Office?!?!

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Haven't they've already done it?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          FAIL

          (with respect to 'doing this' to Office)

          "Haven't they've already done it?"

          Probably. I wouldn't know for sure since I stopped using MS Office. But it's the same thing they've done to windows. Why shouldn't they be consistent?

          The moment Skype became a UWP "[cr]app" was the beginning of it's demise. OK the moment Micro-shaft bought it, but still...

          After all, Micro-shaft *FEELS* (not 'thinks', because that would be based on logic) that computers are CONSUMPTION DEVICES for SOCIAL MEDIA (to be monetized). Hence, Win-10-nic.

          Obviously their "vision" is through the narrow minds of CERTAIN MILLENIALS, particularly the "4 inch" crowd that seem to do EVERYTHING from a 4 inch display. And it's nearly always SOCIAL MEDIA.

          As such they forgot "the installed base" i.e. people with PCs that get work done. And they released a bunch of CRapps that COMPLETELY GET IT WRONG when it comes to what customers want. Because they stopped caring about what CUSTOMERS want.

          Oh, and they apologize for the MAJOR CHANGES. yeah, seen THIS before, too. broken vinyl record.

          And an obligatory reference to Arthur C. Clarke's "Superiority" again.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If they can do this to a simple thing like Skype, what might they do to Office?!?!

        Hahaha, subtle. Love it :)

      3. Mage Silver badge

        Office

        Last decent version was 2003. The Ribbon and now deleting little used but important features killed Office for me.

        I never used Access or VBA or Macros (all evil) so changing from Office XP to LibreOffice was easy (do edit all the defaults).

        Why does Skype now create cookies on Win10.

        Why does Windows Skype have stupid "Home" screen and adverts (both removable).

        Why does a new install of skype destroy your existing account profile avatar.

        Why is Skype on task bar like an open program and not in Notification area like it used to be (and still is on Linux).

        Why are they killing Skype Phones, Skype on embedded stuff and killing Linux skype to replace Linux version with a nastier one?

        Because MS are obsessed with phones, where they have < 2% market and are determined to abuse desktop users.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Office

          "Why are they killing Skype Phones, Skype on embedded stuff and killing Linux skype to replace Linux version with a nastier one?"

          Because they bought it and so have to monitise it to prove to the share holders it wasn't a vanity thing to replace the steaming pile of turds they tried to create themselves. Likewise, because they've designed out the peer to peer model in favour of monolithic central servers, the running costs are probably orders of magnitude higher.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Office

          Last decent version was 2003. The Ribbon and now deleting little used but important features killed Office for me.

          Same here - I could rework documents at speed with Office 2003, all with keystroke shortcuts. Then they changed the UI and my productivity was shot - overnight it because a "hunt the feature" game. Now I know that Windows is used a lot for games, but I needed to get work done.

          Eventually I switched to LibreOffice because its UI is a lot less prone to overnight changes, and now they have implemented a single command "paste as text" function (instead of a &^%$ popup menu) it's all I need.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Office

            Yeah, on my current laptop I have both LO and MSO 2010. I seldom use the latter, though Publisher is quite useful. Note though that most home users won't have Publisher. In one of MS's earlier bits of stupidity they chose to omit Publisher from home versions, where it's probably most useful. And if my memory serves me they included Access in those earlier version (2003?) which most Home users would never touch. Always a mystery to me, would MS have lost any revenue by including Publisher? Was it just pure mean spiritedness? Did they think people would stump up to buy the pro edition instead? So that they could make a greetings card or a youth club poster once or twice a year. But then LO doesn't have any equivalent either. Beats me why not. It's what the SOHO user needs to make those items, from time to time. Using WORD/Writer just doesn't cut it.

            I won't bother with MSO when I set up a new lappy soon. (But then I'm very tempted to strip MS out and go to MINT anyway)

            1. Dave559 Bronze badge

              Re: Alternative to MS Publisher

              If you are looking for an alternative to MS Publisher, perhaps try Scribus.

        3. LionelHutz

          Re: Office

          I thought 2010 was pretty good. That was the generation of Windows 7, and Server 2008 R2, all three of which I consider to be the last great products in those categories.

      4. Chemical Bob
        Coat

        Re: what might they do to Office?!?!

        Put ribbons in it's hair...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We've switched to Signal, but we mostly do one-to-one conversations.

      Personally, I think that the demolishing of Skype (let's call it for what it is) has left a massive gap in the market. It's a shame the WebRTC concept is still too distributed over companies, if there was one setup who put some coding into that they'd have the market.

      That said, why is anyone surprised about this? Microsoft has a long and proud history of totally screwing up usability on very good software. The ribbon and what they did to Visio after they bought it are excellent examples of that, they couldn't develop a useful, function-only driven UI if you gave them printed instructions and a map. Their worst problem is that they are not in the slightest interested in what users need, the marketing department dictates it all.

      Add to that the provable message intercept and we've stopped using it a long time ago.

      1. Rosie Davies

        +1 for mentioning Visio.

        I used to love using it WAY back before Microsoft got their hands on it (yes, I'm old. Why do you ask?). Now I cringe ever time I have to go near it.

        K.I.S.S is everything.

        Rosie

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          +1 for mentioning Visio.

          I used to love using it WAY back before Microsoft got their hands on it (yes, I'm old. Why do you ask?). Now I cringe ever time I have to go near it.

          We've regained that power with macos and OmniGraffle. Not only is it as quick and easy to use as Visio used to be, but its output is also a LOT prettier, and the pro version reads & writes Visio files.

      2. Mage Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Skype Alternatives?

        I tried QQ, but the Linux version is only Chinese and and the Android version seems intermittent on Play Store. It seemed OK on Windows (even old versions MS doesn't let Skype on, or that use 100% CPU with Skype), but persuading others to move is a problem.

        What about Ring see ring.cx ?

        Also I use text message on skype and file transfer more than calls and rarely use video, so a SIP or Video only is no use.

        Why is Skype now insiting it's web based and transferring files and images to skype.com and wanting a web browser log in even when both people are online?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Skype Alternatives?

          "but persuading others to move is a problem."

          And there have the MS standard Modus Operandi. Create a lock-in by dint of ubiquity and then they can scre their users as hard as they like and most users will just say "can I have some please" because the brand of Skype has taken over to the extent that if you want to be different, you end up as Billy No Mates because others won't switch.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Skype Alternatives?

            And ironically, the same thing worked against them with the phones. Having lost the initiative they had no chance against the "cool" iThingy devices, or even the almost as "cool" Android/Samsungs. We Winphone users have a good phone that is totally ignored by almost everyone, so it's pretty much landfill.

        2. EastFinchleyite

          Re: Skype Alternatives?

          I have used Skype mobile largely to avoid the old international mobile roaming charges in Europe. Getting wifi in a cafe and using Skype was painless and cost effective.

          - Painless. The new Skype app is the opposite of painless. Luckily I takes backups and can roll back to pre-update if needed.

          - Cost effective. More importantly for me, since June European roaming charges have gone (mostly).

          At just the time that MS have made Skype nasty, Europe has made it unnecessary. Swings and roundabouts. I have a couple of quid in Skype credit which I will keep for emergencies but that's it ended for me.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        WebRTC

        Is privacy shredding cancer. It needs to be be rethought in my opinion.

        Especially from the browser standpoint. Its on by default and cannot be disabled fully without plugins. Especially on Chrome.

        If you want to see what kind of info is leaked by it visit www.whoer.net

        In a nutshell, it can be used to track you and it can be used to track you around proxies and VPNs.

        I personally block it with a Firefox plugin.

        At the very least the browsers should implement an on demand setting for it. I.e. prompt when a site wants to use it.

      4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "Microsoft.. long and proud history of totally screwing up usability on very good software. "

        It's a territory thing.

        When a predator invades new territory it likes to mark the area with it's scent.

        Often by defecating all over the area.

        So when MS gets its corporate mitts on a company it feels the instinctive urge to "improve" it.

        Long term users of software that's been bought by MS (that's not been folded into existing MS stuff) can decide for themselves wheather they think those products were "improved."

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "That said, why is anyone surprised about this? Microsoft has a long and proud history of totally screwing up usability on very good software. "

        Spot on. Any time I see an update PR that says " make it easier for you" I just know they've screwed the pooch with regard to actual usability.

      6. Gerhard Mack

        "We've switched to Signal, but we mostly do one-to-one conversations"

        And now you have a new problem. Signal only works on phones making it and most of it's competition useless for most of Skype was good for. And then we have hangouts, which chokes on my 1080p webcam (worked great with Skype even on Linux).

        Only thing I have found that looks promising is Ring.cx but no one uses that and it's still in Beta.

      7. Jeff from California

        Clearly well advanced in Stage 4.

        My first civilian boss used to preach that there were five stages to business development:

        1. Idea-driven;

        2. Engineering-driven;

        3. Sales-driven;

        4. Marketing-driven;

        5. Chapter 7.

        Folklore reportedly had it that a sixth stage existed, between 4 and 5 on the above list, but nobody had managed to hit it yet.

        There were reasons several industrial giants put valiant effort into remaining at Stage 3. When sales drives the company, you're very attentive to your actual, paying customers and what they want and think. Once you fall across the chasm into Stage 4, you become hostage to your own navel-gazing propaganda telling you what your future customers ought to want. Your existing customers; you know, the folks with money they want to give you? They're the ones who see your big ¡Sal si puedes! sign and take it to heart.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      For group stuff Hangouts is very reliable.

      1. roblightbody

        Totally agree, use it daily and love it.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        "For group stuff Hangouts is very reliable."

        They've done for that as well: Microsoft Teams

        Re Skype, did you know that there are now over 3 types of Skype? Skype, Skype for Business and Skype for Meetings.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually prefer Hangouts, it seems to offer a far more robust, far more universal offering, and backed with far better bandwidth management.

    5. Kay Burley ate my hamster

      If they use Slack they haven't learned their lesson. The problems started once monitisation was the goal.

    6. 2460 Something

      Ahh, MS, Thinking of the children! It is a shame they didn't also think of Skype's current user base, who were quite happy with it just being usable.

    7. WillbeIT
      Stop

      eh

      Wait...you can afford Slack?

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Market research

    Has MS heard of it?

    It's a way of finding out what potential customers want from a product, then shaping the product as close to the ideal as possible within the limitations set by the price/prodution ratio that the market will bear.

    MS: 'Just build it, they will come.'

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Market research

      "Has MS heard of it?"

      There's one thing that Microsoft have clearly never heard of; "do one thing and do it well."

      Who was it said that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Market research

        Hookers?

    2. Random Handle

      Re: Market research

      >Has MS heard of it?

      Probably - but then some over-promoted knob desperately seizing his career defining impact moment will chime in with Ford's faster horse shit.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Market research

        "Ford's faster horse shit."

        I thought Microsoft had their own supply of faster horse shit.

        1. itzman

          Re: Market research

          No, just rocking horse poo.

        2. Chemical Bob
          Windows

          Re: Market research

          "I thought Microsoft had their own supply of faster horse shit."

          Not faster. Bloated, slow and tangled.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      @Chris

      "Has MS heard of it?" (market research).

      Uhm...

      These are the same people who tried to give us Windows 8 (a touch based GUI on a mouse driven platform). And when that obviously failed they then tried a new tactic: simply forcing people to move onto Windows 10, if you liked it or not.

      I still see that news broadcast (weather forecast) where all of a sudden the forced Windows 10 upgrade window popped up. Right in the middle of a live broadcast.

      And let's briefly talk about business users... This is the same company which launched a new phone while never bothering to provide something as trivial as a todo list. And when they finally did in the first update this todo list couldn't be synced with Outlook (their flagship product when it comes to e-mail and (brief) project management).

      Or about professional developers: that moment when Microsoft decided Visual Studio should follow the same Look & Feel as their consumer platform, and in the process they removed all color from the whole thing as well.

      SO yeah... Microsoft and professional users? I don't think Microsoft even realizes anymore what a professional user actually is. Their teams have probably been playing a bit too much Minecraft as of late.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Chris

        That Metro UI monstrosity was entirely due to Julie Larson-Green, she invented it. And Sinofsky, who oversaw the development of Windows 8, implemented her ideas.

        Windows 10 is essentially an 'apology' for Windows 8. However, with cloud-data mining freak SatNad as Microsoft's new CEO, Microsoft now has new priorities, and those priorities are manifested in Windows 10.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          They probably did do market research

          The problem was they didn't ask the people who use Skype - they figured they already had them so they didn't need to care about their views. They asked the people who didn't use Skype they wanted to win over - i.e. the people who are using Snapchat et al, and that's how they got what they did.

          The problem wasn't a lack of market research, but a lack of understanding Skype's market position. This isn't Windows or Office, where existing users are effectively locked in for all practical purposes. There's some degree of lock-in to Skype for corporate types, because a business has to choose one platform and not let some people use Skype, some Facetime, some Google Voice and so on. But it is a lot easier for a business to deploy a replacement for Skype than it is for them to deploy a replacement for Windows or Office. And some are now likely investigating alternatives to Skype.

        2. Bloodbeastterror

          Re: @Chris

          "cloud-data mining"

          I'll hang this slightly-off-topic comment here in case anyone's interested (though Reg readers may already know...)

          I noticed that when I upgraded to Creator a few months ago Microsoft surreptitiously switched their "call home" service back on, even though I'd deliberately disabled it.

          Windows-R, run services.msc, "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry", double-click for properties, stop and disable.

          Are there other call-home functions apart from this?

          1. Anonymous IV

            Re: @Chris

            > Are there other call-home functions apart from this?

            Don't bother investigating - just use O & O's oddly-named ShutUp10 and 'check out' the Actions tab. Removes all dubious MS settings in one fell swoop.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Chris

          That Metro UI monstrosity was entirely due to Julie Larson-Green, she invented it.

          Oh-ho, she's the idiot responsible for Ribbons, too. However, the wikipedia entry doesn't mention anything particularly traumatic in her childhood that would cause her to inflict these abominations on users.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Chris

            If you see her botched face... then you'll know why she wants ribbons, metro, tiles; even she looks "pretty" on front of that mess that currently is both office + wind-blows.

            (+Joke Alert! & Fail)

        4. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: @Chris

          It took something as bad as 10 to make me give 8.1 a second look. I thought the tiles and the Metro stuff was bad (and it is), and I thought it had to be the worst Windows ever. Only after 10 came along and I realized how good 8.1 had it in so many ways did I think to go back and try it. With aftermarket addons to remove the ribbon and the tiles, with the apps removed and Metro locked out, it's not bad. It takes some effort to get it not bad, but now I can avoid 10 for six more years before leaving the WIndows world behind for good.

        5. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: @Chris

          "That Metro UI monstrosity was entirely due to Julie Larson-Green, she invented it"

          thanks, I needed a new photo for my dart board.

          according to THIS, she's responsible for "the ribbon", too.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Larson-Green

          and she STILL WORKS THERE!!! (they *FIRED* Sinofsky...)

          No *WONDER* Micro-shaft still doesn't have a clue!!!

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: @Chris

        This is the company that produced a calendar "app" with no search function. Do we need to say anything more?

    4. nymike

      Re: Market research

      They probably heard it. But this is about market segmentation. The staid business world is not a good income source. They want to use Skype for free communication, and they don't consume advertising, or at least their employer won't let them spend corporate money on advertised styuff. So, better to go after consumers.

      I've seen this over and over, when professional apps get dumbed down, from Final Cut Pro, to a variety of other pro apps - in a nutshell, there are not that many users. better to have features focused on consumers that pay more, and are susceptible to marketing.

      That's the consumerization of tech, that's how the iPhone also ate BlackBerry. And it's not always a bad thing, if it brings more money for increased development spending etc. (People preferred the iPhone over BB because it was better!) But, you have to do the consumerization right. Apple 1,Microsoft 0.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Market research

        @nymike,

        That's the consumerization of tech, that's how the iPhone also ate BlackBerry. And it's not always a bad thing, if it brings more money for increased development spending etc. (People preferred the iPhone over BB because it was better!) But, you have to do the consumerization right. Apple 1, Microsoft 0.

        BlackBerry's response to iPhone, BB10, has some marvellous technical features that make for a really good BYOD solution. The problem they had was:

        1) Apple had already "educated" people as to what to expect from a smartphone, so neat technical solutions to the BYOD problem didn't get any interest,

        2) it was too late.

        The results are that these days, certainly where I work, everyone has a work mobile and a personal phone. Carrying 2 phones in this day and age is nuts, but that's what most British workers with a need for a mobile phone end up doing.

        Apple could buy BlackBerry really easily, absorb that tech, but the results consumerisation are clear; there's no real money in supporting business users anymore.

        We see it in other areas. BlackBerry Travel is a superb app, and always has been since long, long before iPhone and Android came on to the market. If you and colleagues did a lot of travelling it was fantastic - it managed all your flights, hotels and car rental, kept you up to date on delays, etc. It would even tell you which gate to go to before the airport's own displays. It still works today, but is being shut doing this September. Apparently the company behind it, WorldMate, are deciding there's no future in competing against Google's equivalent. But in comparison, Google's equivalent is a poor, poor imitation.

        BB10 Skype

        On the plus side, Skype on BB10 (a warmed up version of the Android skype) is unchanged. Doesn't work amazingly well, but works well enough and doesn't make a fuss about it.

        1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Market research

          "Carrying 2 phones in this day and age is nuts,"

          I couldn't disagree more strongly with this sentiment!

          my phone is *my* phone I don't want work shit anywhere near it. So what if I have two phones? it's not like they're the size of a brick. At the end of my working day I throw it in my lappy bag and walk away.

          Every friend of mine that uses his personal phone (or work phone for personal stuff) for work related stuff is constantly harassed with work stuff, well frankly... that can fuck right off.

          1. bazza Silver badge

            Re: Market research

            @IsJustabloke,

            "Carrying 2 phones in this day and age is nuts,"

            I couldn't disagree more strongly with this sentiment!

            my phone is *my* phone I don't want work shit anywhere near it. So what if I have two phones? it's not like they're the size of a brick. At the end of my working day I throw it in my lappy bag and walk away.

            Ah, well that was the beauty of BlackBerry Balance on BB10. There is a cryptographic separation between work apps, data, calendars, email, contacts and your own personal apps, email, contacts, etc. The cryptographic separation is pretty good, and has a lot of approvals from DoD, MoD, etc. Work could remotely control / wipe their partition, but had zero ability to see, wipe, or control the personal partition. You couldn't copy / paste from work apps/email to personal apps or email, and vice versa.

            The result is that Work can be confident that their data won't leak through your personal accounts and apps, and you could be confident that work cannot see or control your personal stuff. If you want to boot work off it altogether, simply signing out to sever their connection and wipe all the data.

            Fence Sitting

            The best bit is that OS's own calendar app could sit on the fence between the two partitions, and see down into both your work and personal calendar, so you could easily manage personal and work appointments even though neither calendar backend is aware of the other. Similarly for the email client, contacts, etc.

            This is the feature that many other mobile management packages lack; you have two separate calendar applications to check before making appointments, two places to look for email, two places to look for contacts, etc.

            Two Phone Numbers All At Once

            BlackBerry also bought a company that did something clever with virtual sims. So you could have a work number live and dialable that will connect to your phone, whilst your own personal number on the phone also works. AFAIK you could block the work phone number whenever you wanted.

            I think you could also turn off notifications from the work side. You get to 5pm, and switch off the work partition and number, and no one else can do anything about it.

            Too Clever

            All in all it is a pretty sophisticated approach to BOYD, with a far high level of functionality than things like Knox, or IronMobile. It allows the handset owner to strike the balance they want between work and not-work, and be in control of their stuff without having a free reign over the work stuff.

            But the number of people who could be bothered to see if anyone had done anything more sophisticated than Google or Apple is quite low, and still fewer were in a position to be able to persuade bosses of its merit.

            That type of technology is something that genuinely helps working people have less stuff to carry and have an easier time running their lives. Trouble was that Google and Apple have shown the world that you can make $100billions by simply the needs of working people.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Market research

              If you're using your work phone they can call you on it. Have your own for when off duty, even if it's a dumb phone.

          2. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: Market research

            "my phone is *my* phone I don't want work shit anywhere near it."

            That's why most of the rest of the world has dual sim free phones. One sim for work and one for you, switch off the work sim at home time.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Market research

        The staid business world is not a good income source.

        Have to disagree there: companies will pay for good, reliable VoIP and conferencing which is why there is Skype for Business (previously called Lync) and why Google is in the market and has released separate consumer products.

        But Skype got fucked once it was sold to E-Bay. It used to be simple and reliable: it just worked and even had a viable if low-margin OTT call-out business model. Then valuations got stupid. The rest is history.

        1. cyclical

          Re: Market research

          > Have to disagree there: companies will pay for good, reliable VoIP and conferencing which is why there is Skype for Business (previously called Lync)

          Reliable? Good? As someone who uses Skype for Business on a daily basis I would very much disagree with both of those. It doesn't often take the whole OS down, but we frequently have people who can't connect, stupid issues (the ringtone keeps going over the call for instance), video failing completely and various other quality issues. Cross OS support is pretty spotty as well (it never installed on my linux box and I had to run it in a VM, although others did not have issues)

          Once Slack video chat starts scaling well enough (the quality is higher than Skype, and the simplicity is already there, but it starts falling apart a bit once you have 6+ people in the chat) we will probably switch to that, since we already use it preference to Skype for all text based chat between departments and offices.

          Personally I used Pre-MS Skype very extensively when I worked with companies in Africa and the US, and it was great - slim and lightweight, got the job done. The first thing that MS did was bloat the UI to 3x the previous size. I even had a Skype phone (that lived for about 6 months before MS changed everything and basically bricked the phone).

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Market research

            Reliable? Good? As someone who uses Skype for Business on a daily basis I would very much disagree with both of those. It doesn't often take the whole OS down

            Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that Skype for Business was any good (it used to be totally unusable, now it's just mainly unusable), just that there's a market for good and reliable VoIP stuff.

        2. fobobob

          Re: Market research

          RE SfB/Lync... good, reliable? That thing that crashes several times weekly for no obvious reason, and randomly goes on and offline numerous times per day? Incredibly laggy updates to text messages (faster to walk 50 feet across the office and start a conversation in person)? Maybe they've fixed those issues... I'll never likely find the time to care.

      3. itzman

        Re: Market research

        "(People preferred the iPhone over BB because it was better!) "

        FSVO 'Better'

        Many people who used blackberries have tried to hang on to them as long as possible, because Iphones are a heap of unadulterated wombat turds in their opinion.

        1. fruitoftheloon
          Pint

          @itzman: Re: Market research

          Itzman,

          yup, I'm one of them....

          Have one on me!

          Cheers!!

          Jay

    5. Triggerfish

      Re: Market research

      I've said it before about MS UI changes.

      1. You sit the dev next to a stressed secretary with a demanding boss and rubber tent peg mallet.

      2. Everytime something comes up that upsets her workflow the dev gets to explain why it's better.

      3. If the secretary disagrees, (say she doesn't agree that a word list changing its fecking formatting halfway through the bloody list is an improvement), she gets to use the comment mallet.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Market research

        @triggerfish

        You are almost there. The dev has to sit beside the secretary first, before any dev work commences and watch what she does, and ask her why she is doing it that way. Sometimes you will see her do laborious work-rounds some stupid software, sometimes she doesn't know her software (often because it isn't immediately clear). Then go and develop, come back and have secretaries use it, and sit with them while they bitch and moan to separate the reactions to the simply new from the reactions to bad ideas. Rinse and repeat until you finally have a product users have vetted all the way through.

        Yes, you have to try and get them to think n new ways, but a good innovation is usually welcomed.

        I have found listening and watching, rather than 'requirements gathering' and guessing, to be the best way forward. Scenario testing is the bee's knees.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Market research @ Hollerithevo

          Yeah slightly tongue in cheek, although that is what stage to of my plan is, they get the chance to say why they made it and why it might be good. :) They just better be right.

          A sensible dev* will actually figure out requirements, talk to users, even sit down and maybe try some of the damn job for a little while to understand it. That way they avoid lumps. They may come up with innovation, but it will be born of understanding and maybe having the ability to know what they can do with their skills to do that.

          The stupid and concussed just put in what they think is funky and then tell the secretary she is wrong and doesn't know her job even though they have never tried to understand what their user does really.

          *I may be using dev wrong, take it I mean the people who design the UI and such

        2. IsJustabloke Silver badge

          Re: Market research

          "The dev has to sit beside the secretary first, before any dev work commences and watch what she does"

          That is *not* the dev's job, that is the job of a BA. The problem I've found (speaking as someone that has done both) is that a lot of BA's don't seem to be able to understand how a person's business process works although to be fair a lot of users don't understand how to explain what they do but a BA should be able to get the process out of the user even if the user doesn't realise they're explaining!

          The dev can only dev what he's/she's been asked to via the spec.

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. keithpeter
          Coat

          Re: Market research

          "The dev has to sit beside the secretary first, before any dev work commences and watch what she does, and ask her why she is doing it that way."

          I recollect that one of Englebart's researchers actually did sit with book editors to gather requirements for supporting their work. One result was the I beam cursor *between* letters instead of the block cursor *on* a letter. I suspect that windows and 'full screen editing' was in there as well.

          My GoogleFu is rusty and I'm having problems finding references.

          Coat: blue pencil in the pocket

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: Market research

        Nice, except it is not the developers who design the user interface. There's a product manager with great ideas, and then some graphics designer implements the idea, and the developers who often have a bit of common sense have no chance to avert obvious disasters.

      3. Jeff from California

        Re: Market research

        Change the rubber mallet to a ball peen hammer and I'm with you.

        And I'm a developer.

    6. Paul Shirley

      Re: Market research

      MS understand that if you have a monopoly you don't need market research. What they haven't yet accepted is their desktop OS monopoly stopped working as a way to push unrelated new applications on users a while back. Around the launch of Win8...

    7. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Market research

      "Has MS heard of it?"

      yes, but I think they don't know how to poll very well. After all, it's the SAME! COMPANY! THAT! OWNS! MSNBC!!!

      Yeah, let's consider THAT when we think of how good their marketing research is, these days...

      *light bulb*

  3. redpawn Silver badge

    It's Great!

    Like having a telephone produce random sounds and music while you talk. This is a secret plan to improve business telephone and cell phone conversations. Look for enhanced phones with audio emojis at Microsoft's next project launch.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: It's Great!

      So it's attempting to say, "pay attention to me, not the person you're talking to"?

      I'm not sure that MS have fully understood this communications thing...

  4. David 132 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I face a dilemma.

    On the one hand, you're right that the reviews of the new Skype version are abysmal, and it strikes me as about as enticing as a puddle of cold sick.

    On the other, I can't even use my existing version of (iOS) skype any more - when I run it, it just tells me to update and won't go any further. Typical Microsoft "let's keep our users on the treadmill of enforced 'upgrades' - that's how we'll get them to love us..."

    The timing couldn't be worse; I just had some very bad news about a friend back in England and need to call her to offer support. What I need is a professional, reliable communications tool. What MS think I want is another &@%#! SnapBookTwitArseSpace clone (NOW WITH OVER 5000 NEW EMOJIS!!!!!")

    Don't get me started on Lync aka Skype for Business, an app that thinks single-threaded UI design and blocking modal dialogs are still a good idea in 2017.

    1. a_a

      Re: I face a dilemma.

      ah the Skype for Business Android app, it can't tell when you're on a mobile call and divert it's incoming call, it just sits there and beeps in your ear. And why so long to load the status of six people.

      Still our PHB says it's the future......

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: I face a dilemma.

      But 100% of smiling Shutterstock youngsters support the new Skypiniative!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I face a dilemma.

      " I just had some very bad news about a friend back in England and need to call her to offer support"

      But couldn't stretch to the price of a phone call?

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I face a dilemma.

        To someone who has no landline and needs to talk to me and see me with video to discuss her terminal cancer diagnosis, internationally from half way round the world?

        You're so right that "stretching to the price of a phone call" is exactly what's needed. Why oh why didn't I think of that. I shall call the operator forthwith and request connection. Oh wait, this is 2017, not 1957.

        Thanks for your "helpful" suggestion. Now fuck off.

    4. nymike

      Re: I face a dilemma.

      Try Hangouts

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Hangouts

        Google makes MS look sane and honest.

        They have the attention span of a mayfly. Any Google product might be gone next week. All spy on you to monetise you for their main business, selling adverts.

        There are other problems with Hangouts too.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I face a dilemma.

      Why are you using Skype on iOS? You have Facetime.

      If you want an alternative to Skype, try JusTalk, which is available for both iOS and Android.

      In fact, many of the chat apps on mobile already have a video chat feature built into them.

      No one needs Skype these days. The only reasons they continue using Skype are: inertia, and not knowing that there are better alternatives to Skype.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I face a dilemma.

        Why are you using Skype on iOS? You have Facetime.

        I found FaceTime to work really well if you have plenty of bandwidth, but it doesn't cope very well with more flaky bandwidth circumstances (such as being in a cab in a city abroad burning through your foreign bandwidth allowance), it needs an ability to down the video quality of there's not much bandwidth. The iMessage screen sharing facility seems to be much less impacted, including the voice channel support, but FaceTime is a bit of a hog.

      2. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: I face a dilemma.

        Why are you using Skype on iOS? You have Facetime.

        Thanks for the useful suggestions. I agree re Facetime - it's good, reliable, uncluttered, and doesn't assume that I'm a tween girl incapable of expressing myself other than in emoji pictograms (albeit as someone said further down in this thread, it does seem to need higher bandwidth).

        However, it assumes - correct me if I'm wrong - that both parties are on Apple devices. I'm on an iPhone, but my friends in England are on a PC and a steam-powered featurephone.

        Cheers to those who recommended Signal (I've upvoted you) - will check that out.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I face a dilemma.

          Cheers to those who recommended Signal (I've upvoted you) - will check that out.

          You're welcome. We've used it iOS - Android (only comes in a mobile version) so you should at least have something basic to work with. I'm going to have a look at Telegram again as well, we're not that convinced about that app but it pays to check and have alternatives :).

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I face a dilemma.

      The timing couldn't be worse; I just had some very bad news about a friend back in England and need to call her to offer support. What I need is a professional, reliable communications tool. What MS think I want is another &@%#! SnapBookTwitArseSpace clone (NOW WITH OVER 5000 NEW EMOJIS!!!!!")

      Install Signal. Works, deals with low bandwidth conditions and is on top of that properly secure as well, something Skype absolutely is not. Alternatively, find a WebRTC provider and use Firefox on both ends. Works too, and there are some freebies around.

      And best of luck to your friend.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: I face a dilemma.

        AC And best of luck to your friend.

        Thank you for your simple, touching gesture of humanity. Very rare on Internet forums where everyone's usually too angry and convinced they're right to stop, pause, and reflect that we're all human beings... well, apart from those who are dogs, but on the Internet no-one knows that, as the old saying goes ;)

        These are old friends of mine, and she just got a diagnosis of multiple cancers with a prognosis of weeks at most. Sucks, rather, and puts my own problems into perspective. May no-one here ever be faced with the same situation.

    7. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I face a dilemma.

      The last few times I've used Skype it's inflicted a forced update on both calling parties.

      One of those times it wouldn't let either me and the other party log in because something had changed server-side but the client couldn't say this, it just said an error happened, but it didn't say that you had to update either to fix the login problem. It must have been about 15-20 minutes before we could talk. Fucking abysmal.

      Hopefully this latest update will be the straw that breaks the camel's back and push everyone over to Wire or something.

    8. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: I face a dilemma.

      I've found Hangouts to be very reliable for audio and video. But Signal and Telegram are also fine.

    9. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. John H Woods Silver badge

    a colleague skyped me..

    ... for some advice. I replied there were two options: a) do a particular thing b) do some other thing.

    I then pressed return and looked on in dismay to see that Skype had, in my already sent message, translated A and B into the angel and beer emojis respectively.

    1. vir

      Re: a colleague skyped me..

      Drink or pray? Sounds like good advice to me!

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: a colleague skyped me..

      Emojis need to die in a fire.

      In fact, any and all auto-corrections - where you type one set of characters, and $SOFTWARE converts them into another character that it thinks you really wanted to type instead - need to stop right now. (I'll allow exceptions for common typos, such as "abotu". But even those need to be completely customisable.)

      Don't change my text to emojis, don't auto-format my lists, and shove your "smart quotes" where the Windows don't open.

      1. h4rm0ny
        Headmaster

        Re: a colleague skyped me..

        I don't mind auto correct when it is a spelling mistake. What drives me crazy with Windows Phone auto correct is when I type a word and it decides I must mean a different one because shock! horror! my vocabulary is wider than an illiterate fourteen year old. Or same principle it decides for me that I can't possibly use words like fuck, shit or cunt and changes them for me.

        That, alongside lack of an app for Signal are the main things that killed Windows Phone for me.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: a colleague skyped me..

          As much as I like my Winphone, some features do show the MS disease, and the autocorrect is one. The suggestions are also pretty grim. Most often I'll mistype a single letter in a word, and instead of showing me a list of real words that correct that error or are close to it it will show a list that often retains the error but change most of the rest of the word. Imagine - an invented example because I can't think of a real one at the moment,- you type cemeont instead of "cement". Instead of offering "cement" it will offer "common/recount/covet/duvet/moment/.." anything you could think of except "cement"

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: a colleague skyped me..

            you type cemeont instead of "cement". Instead of offering "cement" it will offer "common/recount/covet/duvet/moment/.." anything you could think of except "cement"

            Thanks for the concrete example, but I suspect there's mortar it than you think. (sorry..)

            If it makes you feel any better, autocorrect on ios isn't much better. Earlier today I typed "face" in a message to someone - as soon as I continued to the next word, it "helpfully" corrected it to "fave". So I deleted that and re-typed "face". Which it then corrected to "gave". On the third attempt, it allowed my intended word.

            Is it just me, or is technology getting more and more shit as time passes?

      2. Not also known as SC

        Re: a colleague skyped me..

        shove your "smart quotes" where the Windows don't open

        I can't up-vote this enough.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a colleague skyped me..

      SatNad's Big Data Cloud Assistant offering helpful intelligent assistance again.

    4. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: a colleague skyped me..

      Evidence that Redmond is the birthplace of Intelligent Design*?

      *as in utter bollox...

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: a colleague skyped me..

        Evidence that Redmond is the birthplace of Intelligent Design*?

        *as in utter bollox...

        Yup. It IS the birthplace of utter bollocks..

        :)

      2. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: a colleague skyped me..

        Re intelligent design...

        http://www.bornagainpagan.com/cartoons/068-doonesbury-creationism.html

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: a colleague skyped me..

          Windows Creationist edition?

        2. MrBanana

          Re: a colleague skyped me..

          Well it's a good cartoon, but I have no idea why Chrome offered to translate it from Sudanese. Bizarre.

    5. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: a colleague skyped me..

      ... for some advice. I replied there were two options: a) do a particular thing b) do some other thing.

      I then pressed return and looked on in dismay to see that Skype had, in my already sent message, translated A and B into the angel and beer emojis respectively.

      Yeah, Skype's shit for that.

      Best bet, is to tell it that every message you send is pre-formatted, put two exclamation marks on a single line, followed by an empty line, and then your message.

      Which is still shit to have to do, but an easy habit to pick up and it tells skype to keep it's stinky fat fingers away from the text you actually want to send

  6. vir

    Surprisingly Unlike Microsoft

    I'm baffled that they didn't see the market potential for this: release a free version for the kids so you can video chat with your "besties" and put little emojis all over the feed and have a Skypie, the dancing Skype logo announce that two people in your contact list just had a conversation about bread. Meanwhile, roll out a professional version that is exactly like old Skype except that you pay 12.99 a month for the privilege of using a version for adults and maybe some sort of half-assed integration with Excel or something.

  7. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    The Problem

    "The $product_name team clearly has a different view of its work." At Microsoft, it has been everthus,

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Surprisingly Unlike Microsoft

      @vir: I'd give you more upvotes if I could. But rules are rules, so the best I can do is a virtual beer...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Surprisingly Unlike Microsoft

        Bring back Microsoft Kin, I say!

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: Surprisingly Unlike Microsoft

          "Bring back Microsoft Kin, I say!"

          Kin-ell! What an idea!!

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Surprisingly Unlike Microsoft

      Don't give them ideas please. I still haven't forgotten nor forgiven them for killing off Skype on Three.

      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....".

      That was the end of truly free Skype on a mobile. No data, contract or top ups needed.

    3. Jakester

      Re: Surprisingly Unlike Microsoft

      Hmmmmm.... Maybe Redmond is bringing Bob back, the new Skype seems to fit in with that mentality and design. That is, if you are old enough to remember Bob and its short life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surprisingly Unlike Microsoft

        Hmmmmm.... Maybe Redmond is bringing Bob back, the new Skype seems to fit in with that mentality and design. That is, if you are old enough to remember Bob and its short life.

        The thing is.... they killed off Bob, relatively quickly. But then again, Bill G was running things then, not "Microsoft Corporate Executive #651"

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surprisingly Unlike Microsoft

      Human nature means that sadly most people would be unwilling to pay for the paid version and so would download the dancing free version, and Mickeysoft nature means that the two versions would be incompatible and unable to communicate with each other…

  8. fobobob

    With Discord and Slack existing, why? Tell you what, if they do the following, I'll consider using it again in the future:

    Add an option to allow for more than ~5 messages to appear on screen at once.

    Add an option to stop the stupid fecking thing from ceasing scrolling when the 'last read' message hits the top of the screen (because, you know, some people have more than one monitor)

    I lied, please go away, Skype.

    1. Aquilus

      "With Discord and Slack existing, why?"

      Because your grandmother hasn't heard of Discord or Slack. And wouldn't know how to use it, even if you installed it for her. You are not Skype's target demographic.

  9. emullinsabq
    FAIL

    midas != microsoft

    Lately, everything Microsoft touches, instead of turning to gold, turns into some other four-letter word.

    1. Daniel B.

      Re: midas != microsoft

      There's an emoji for that!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: midas != microsoft

      Bad things happen when you let hipsters and marketing droids run/steer a tech company instead of engineers.

      1. Trilkhai

        Re: midas != microsoft

        That would explain a lot, given a hell of a lot of Millennial Pacific Northwest/West Coast engineers also happen to be hipsters...or at least do a damn good imitation.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: midas != microsoft

          That would explain a lot, given a hell of a lot of Millennial Pacific Northwest/West Coast engineers also happen to be hipsters...or at least do a damn good imitation.

          I'm in Portland Oregon, which is pretty much Hipster Ground Zero. It's a fun place, but there sure is a surfeit of plaid lumberjack shirts, NHS glasses and olde timey moustaches (and that's just the females, ahaha).

          On the plus side, the Rick & Morty Road Trip came to town last week, and I'm sure that doesn't happen in Solihull or Reading. Wubba lubba dub dub!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: midas != microsoft

      Lately, everything Microsoft touches, instead of turning to gold, turns into some other four-letter word.

      Lead? :p

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: midas != microsoft

        ...some other four-letter word...

        Mayo?

      2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: midas != microsoft

        "Lately, everything Microsoft touches, instead of turning to gold, turns into some other four-letter word."

        Mush

  10. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Is this update the reason my Windows 10 notification window keeps popping up (a few times a day) with Skype crap?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That, plus you haven't turned off Skype notifications.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That, plus you use Windows 10.

    2. ACcc

      uninstall Skype video

      My dad's machine started doing this for no apparent reason. Even killing desktop Skype didn't stop the notifications "Skype needs to log in...blah blah" clicking on which *obviously*, being Redmond, leads to an error form.

      Noticed that a windows store app (or whatever their decided to call them this week) had installed "Skype Video". I uninstalled that and the notifications stopped.

  11. fidodogbreath Silver badge
    Devil

    Social disease

    the redesign imagines Skype as a youth-oriented social media app along the lines of Instagram or Snapchat, rather than a staid business communications tool

    Right. Milennials can't fart without sharing it on Twitstagram, reviewing it on Yelp and Google, and tagging friends with the vapor cloud so FB can show them a movie about it next year. But apparently we still don't have quite enough social network integration...

    1. a_a

      Re: Social disease

      You've got to wonder if all the old software engineers haven't retired and it's the under 35s who've taken over product design and development with the executives in thrall to the ideas of youth.

      1. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: Social disease

        Exactly. The problem with that is that de yoot don't actually have the experience to understand what went before. Standing on the shoulders of giants? Nah - that's the old world, innit...

      2. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Social disease

        You've got to wonder if all the old software engineers haven't retired and it's the under 35s who've taken over product design and development with the executives in thrall to the ideas of youth.

        Probably the over 35 product managers trying to get cool and down with the kids*.

        * Well they would do if their knees would let them...

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: Social disease

          * Well they would do if their knees would let them...

          They let me *down*. It's getting back up again that's tricky.

      3. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Social disease

        You've got to wonder if all the old software engineers haven't retired and it's the under 35s who've taken over product design ,

        Oi, I'm under 35 and you can fuck off if you're going to try and lump me in with the kind of cretin that thinks that kind of design is an improvement.

        It's possible I'm just odd for my age, but there's very little that get's released nowadays that I like the look of. It's more common that I'll be screaming blue murder at something because some fuckwit has dumbed down the interface and hidden/removed a config setting that I want to get at. Skype's update is a low even by that standard though

        1. quxinot

          Re: Social disease

          Oi, I'm under 35 and you can fuck off if you're going to try and lump me in with the kind of cretin that thinks that kind of design is an improvement.

          I'm over 35, but also more than a pinch tired of the "let's blame millenials for things" that I keep seeing.

          Yes, "those damn kids these days" (including yours, guys!) are driving the handbasket, same as your parents and grandparents said about your own generation.

          And it's interesting that while thedamnkidsthesedays are apparently breaking the interface on everything, it's their parents that are now old and wise enough to be elected into government posts. And doing so very well at it....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Social disease

      Things took a drastic turn for the worse with the advent of Snapchat.

      Even the humble Whatsapp (now owned by Facebook Inc) has been Snapchat-fied by an update earlier this year. It's sad that the tech world is dominated by fad-chasing trendies.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Social disease

        They did however have the sense to row back and allow text status again. MS will carry on regardless.

        1. Spanners Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Social disease

          MS is not a disease.

          It is a medical condition.

  12. Notas Badoff

    You will appreciate what *we* say you should appreciate!

    Recently Google 'updated' Google News to a new ~visual~ format. Each news item is now a 'card', with picture and headline and a few more bits, each 'card' about a half screen high. Material design? The total effect is a long line of billboards I have to walk down with a lead foot on the pagedown accelerator.

    This isn't design. This is ego-ridden grandiosity repainting the screen using norovirus.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You will appreciate what *we* say you should appreciate!

      "This is ego-ridden grandiosity repainting the screen using norovirus."

      My god man, you've just described the "office ribbon" and "Windows 8/8.1/10" in words close to absolute perfection.

      I've not seen word porn for a while but that comes close.

      Have an upvote.

    2. buttonp

      Re: You will appreciate what *we* say you should appreciate!

      I used to use google news quite frequently. But it seems increasing unable to tell the difference between real news and stuff that's stale -weeks old sometimes. The latest version is difficult to scan for items of interest so I have stopped using it. Using Twitter as a news feed instead!

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: You will appreciate what *we* say you should appreciate!

      Don't get me started on that. Where's the fucking date range? Why are you only allowed one page? Why are the results 1000 times worse? And the fucking mobile version with left-right slidey tiles that bring the browser to a standstill. Did the people who do Google News actually read the fucking news? Fuckers.

    4. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: You will appreciate what *we* say you should appreciate!

      I was a Google News fan, but I took one look at the new layout and moved to Bing News, which is not as well done as the old Google News, but much better than the new Google News.

  13. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Shirley...

    Surely Microsoft's product management people have realised that Skype is a comms engine behind a user interface? And that they could easily release two versions of the app, perhaps with development code names 'youth' and 'business' that use the same comms engine but provide different features.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shirley...

      Microsoft would have kept MSN Messenger alive if they followed your advice.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Shirley...

      the 'youth' version would have all of the 2D FLATSO "the Metro" UWP foolishness, and only look good on a 4" screen, and remind you of Fischer Price or Windows 1.01 .

      The 'business' version would also have to run on non-windows platforms like Linux, *NOT* be a UWP, *NOT* have the "the Metro" 2D FLATSO FLUGLY look, and basically be what Skype was before Micro-shaft embraced, extended, and is about to EXTINGUISH.

  14. Bloodbeastterror

    "This new app is absolutely terrible"

    Yes. Uninstalled from all my devices. What is *wrong* with these people that they insist on destroying a perfectly reasonable product?

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

      Since I'm on the subject, what exactly is the Register "make this comment better within ten minutes" offer? All I get is the option to remove it - that's not making it better, is it? Come on, someone, tell me what I'm missing.

      It appears to me that the development community is driven by youngsters/children who have little appreciation of what went before - social cohesion, chit-chat, interaction. What they see is the knee-jerk 140-character response, not the considered thoughtful review of what they're commenting on. Sad.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

        "All I get is the option to remove it - that's not making it better, is it?"

        Don't you have an Edit button alongside the reply?

        ElReg comment interface can do strange things, however. I can reply to a post, retaining the title and get it rejected because the title's too long. And no, that isn't because a "Re:" has been added.

        1. Bloodbeastterror

          Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

          "Don't you have an Edit button alongside the reply?"

          No, I don't, Other sites, yes. But El Reg, no. Nothing except "remove". They clearly have me marked as a troublemaker... :-)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

            You might have to redraw the screen ... Try hitting F5. You should then see your post, with an edit button near the bottom, next to reply. After hitting edit you might have to scroll down a bit before you get to the (already populated) edit window.

            1. Bloodbeastterror

              Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

              "You should then see your post, with an edit button"

              Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't have any edit button on any of my posts ever. Maybe it's blocked by one of the privacy apps that my Firefox runs. No matter - I'll just have to be better at proof-reading before I commit my precious posts to posterity... :-)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

                yes, the lack of "Edit" button is likely to do with too many ad-blocking and privacy extensions. One of those things I can't be bothered to fix ;)

              2. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

                Some of the lock-down stuff, especially stuff that blocks scripts, will remove functionality that is needed. I use PaleMoon mostly. If that happens I move to Firefox, and if still not working I hold my nose and use IE.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

                  Try a forked build of Chrome. Advanced Chrome and Yandex browser are two of them.

                  Advanced Chrome is to Chrome what Pale Moon is to Firefox.

                  Yandex is built by the Russians based on Chromium, it's beautiful and fast. Its many well-designed and useful UI enhancements will make you not miss the normal Chrome browser from Google.

                  1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

                    Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

                    Or the new Opera, which is also based on Chromium.

                  2. h4rm0ny

                    Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

                    I'm trying Yandex now. Thanks - this is a really good recommendation. It is blisteringly fast.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

        "Since I'm on the subject, what exactly is the Register "make this comment better within ten minutes" offer?"

        Are you on the mobile website? Edit's not available yet on the mobile website. Switch to the Desktop website and it should appear. If you're using ad-blockers, you'll probably also need to enable both theregister.co.uk and regmedia.co.uk.

        I've also heard the Edit feature is not available to all users. Anyone know if you need a medal to be able to edit?

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

      Products where next version was worse:

      Office 2003

      Visio

      Windows XP

      Visual Studio (Various times)

      VB6

      Skype

      MSN Messenger

      SQL Server 7.0

      Windows 2000 Advanced Server

      Win98SE -> ME

      NT 3.51

      Windows 7

      Windows 8.1

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

        Products where next version was worse:

        Easier to summarise as "all of them"..

    3. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Echoes of the dot com bust

      "What is *wrong* with these people that they insist on destroying a perfectly reasonable product?"

      "Ah but this is the new way of doing things"

      Where did we hear that one before? Ah yes, just before the dot com bust.

  15. Philip Hands
    Happy

    Completely normal from Microsoft

    except that in this case they're not in a position to abuse some monopoly in order to force people to use their shoddy nonsense anyway.

    1. Daniel B.

      Re: Completely normal from Microsoft

      Also known as the Xbox moment, when you realize that your shit sandwich only made everyone flock to the PS4.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Completely normal from Microsoft

        Without its mountain of cash accumulated from years of monopolistic privilege, Microsoft would have gone bankrupt with its numerous bad decisions.

  16. noddybollock
    Facepalm

    Gun looks at feet - again.

    Really........................

    Sigh..

    I blame the hipster / meleniannnnlalalal's

  17. Kev99 Bronze badge

    Once more Microsoft proves the wisdom of NOT upgrading to the latest and greatest. I finally dropped Win10 on my laptop and the only good thing about it is it starts and closes in seconds instead of minutes. I'm glad I still have the real Skype on my main box.

    1. AJ MacLeod

      @Kev99

      Even that (apparently faster startup / shutdown) isn't a good thing - it only seems faster because it isn't really shutting down properly, merely doing what used to be called hibernate.

      Nothing wrong with that in itself (even if the title is misleading), but I've seen an awful lot of problems arise over time from Windows 10 machines not getting properly shut down regularly.

  18. Captain DaFt

    I see what happened

    "El Reg reached out to Microsoft for comment. No word so far."

    You tried using Skype, didn't you? ☺

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: I see what happened

      > "El Reg reached out to Microsoft for comment. No word so far."

      Fucking "reached out". Fucking idiots. You are not brainless zombies (I hope) so stop pretending that you are and use your Broca's and Wernicke's areas instead of "reaching out" for a brain-based snack.

      1. sebt
        Mushroom

        Re: Reaching out

        "Fucking "reached out". Fucking idiots."

        Anyone uses this obnoxious phrase near me, gets hit with the "comment mallet" mentioned back on Page 1 of the comments.

        I like asking people "If I don't know who to reach out to, does that mean I have to reach around?"

        Do NOT Google "Reacharound". At least not at work. At least not images.

    2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Reaching out

      "El Reg reached out to Microsoft for comment."

      That phrase smacks of someone drowning

      or

      Bible Belt preacher language.

      Please don't use it.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm.....

    I stopped using Skype as soon as Microsoft got hold of it. Same thing for Linked IN. THIS nonsense is why. Saw this ridiculousness coming. And yes, it definitely seems as though the real Software Engineers have left, leaving half wits to screw thins up. Nadella would notice this and his Windows Mobile failure, if he wasn't obsessed with the Cloud. Is MS Succeeding with that? NOPE!!

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm.....

      And yes, it definitely seems as though the real Software Engineers have left

      There's a strong chance that the Software Engineers agree with you; but have to implement it anyway

      1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

        Re: Hmmm.....

        A truer thing has never been said.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Hmmm.....

        "There's a strong chance that the Software Engineers agree with you; but have to implement it anyway"

        it is my understanding that there is growing internal discomfort over the directions that Micro-shaft has chosen to go, and it's EXACTLY THAT, where people decide shutting the hell up to keep their jobs is a better alternative.

  20. Daniel B.

    Not surprised

    Remember, this is the company that came out with the Ribbon, the Windows 8 UI and thought that anti-consumer DRM was an awesome feature for their next generation gaming console.

    1. Donn Bly

      Re: Remember, this is the company that came out with the Ribbon

      you forgot "Bob" and "Windows Me" - they make the Windows 8 UI look good by comparison....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Remember, this is the company that came out with the Ribbon

        you forgot "Bob" and "Windows Me" - they make the Windows 8 UI look good by comparison....

        FFS, I nearly had that memory suppressed. You b*stard.

        :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not surprised

      Used to think that madness came from Ballmer. Once he goes, Microsoft would improve.

      My hypothesis has been proven wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not surprised

        >Used to think that madness came from Ballmer. Once he goes, Microsoft would improve.

        Ballmer was just a symptom, Microsoft is the disease.

  21. nymike

    Try Hangouts instead!

    I've more recently taken a liking to Hangouts - it has good audio and video quality, and is closer to what Skype used to be.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People should wean themselves off Skype, now that Microsoft has gone full retard

    Never cared for Skype, even before it got acquired by Microsoft.

    However I was an avid user of MSN Messenger (then Windows Live Messenger), until the day Microsoft decided to merge it into Skype. Stopped using that ever since.

    Because Skype is now the 'unofficial' de facto ubiquitous standard for video calls, and 'Skype' is now semantically synonymous with VOIP video calling, it might take a while for people to stop using Skype.

    Skype is really an inferior product. There are better alternatives out there.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reached Out

    Emailed?

    If not, pray tell

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WIN

    Yet another reason why having no friends is a great strategy!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft is the new Theresa May.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I been using Skype ever since day 1 way before Microsoft ever came around and bought it out. I was actually a BETA tester back then and had many of our website admins using it for direct communications between all the employees here. Today for the first time ever we have been forced to "permanently" uninstall it from every device. I will NEVER again use Skype on Android, not as long as I live. I was using 6.34 until today when I was forced to update it which I wasted hours trying to figure out how to avoid. In the end both I and my friends, family and employees lost the battle. Microsoft also loses too since they are losing tons of their users because of their arrogance and stupidity for forcing people to use the latest software. For the first time in Skype's history the app is now permanently uninstalled and banned from all my devices and all my friends and family members are back to using Facebook messenger, which I also dislike using.

    I feel like there should be a funeral somewhere to attend. So long Skype good buddy, it was fun the last decade and a half. The world misses you already :(

    1. Paul Woodhouse

      sounds like you need to set yourself up an openfire server...

  27. J J Carter Silver badge

    In the real world.

    Business peeps are using Skype, but via the integration with Microsoft Teams. Consumer Skype on mobiles is just for hipsters.

  28. shonangreg

    I just noticed a few weeks ago that I suddenly had two accounts. Somehow my hotmail and skype accounts, which I had merged several years ago when Skype asked, are now separate accounts again. I haven't even bothered trying to fix it.

  29. SeanEllis
    Flame

    Following the trend

    The most-requested features on the Skype forum for the last 2 years or more have been an option to choose the color scheme (essential for sight-impaired people and good for the rest of us), and the option to turn off the speech bubbles that eat screen real-estate like there's no tomorrow.

    Neither of these are forthcoming, and for serious users every change to Skype seems to be a backward step.

    The whole desktop Skype UI is a mess, and violates the most basic UI rules. I took all my feedback and stuck it into a blog post. Some of it is now a little out of date, but if you're interested, it's here.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Following the trend

      I liked the long gone IRC style text chat on Skype. Current design is ghastly,

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Following the trend

      Thanks! A good read.

      1. A. Merkin

        Re: Following the trend

        Thank you for sharing; an insightful, enjoyable read.

        One minor edit: "messages form the same user" (from)

  30. thondwe

    Test Audience

    SO MS Employees all use Skype for Business, so the "Eat your own Dogfood" don't work for Consumer Skype? So they use the next best audience - their kids? Hence it looks like ooVInstaSnapFaceOO or whatever...

  31. 4cAtS

    Copy text - Skype for Business

    Try saving a copy of the transcript to a file,

    Select All often selects half the text, try to select the other half and it will deselect the other bit.

    Or it will miss out a line in the middle.

    Utterly rubbish.

  32. Potemkine! Silver badge

    It's a kind of tradition at MS

    Don't listen to users ever, particularly when it is GUI-related.

  33. Chris Robinson
    Facepalm

    El Reg reached out ...

    El Reg "reached out" to Microsoft ...

    In supplication, or did you mean "contacted for comment"?

    1. earl grey Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: El Reg reached out ...

      I think they meant reached out with a bat. A couple of good hits might knock some sense into someone at MS.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worth pointing out that in order to post a review at least one star needs to be allocated. This probably indicates that the 19 out of 20 reviewers who awarded 1 star would have preferred to award NONE.

  35. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Uninstalled it due to the kacke interface and security concerns.

  36. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Can El Reg create a poll to see who hateses <gollum> the new Skype, and who loves (traitorsesss) the new Skype?

  37. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    Excuse me but...

    "El Reg reached out to Microsoft for comment."

    Don't you start as well with the PR bollocks. The correct term is "contacted"

  38. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge
    Joke

    Modern Day Professional

    I don't know what everyone's complaining about. We live in a world where the most powerful leader in the western hemisphere makes official policy announcements via Twitter. The new Skype is modern day professional.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Modern Day Professional

      NO JOKE! Frankly, we're gonna have to face the fact that there's something extremely wrong with the entirety of Western Civilization, if you ask me.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Modern Day Professional

          Not really. The powers have more voices, and you know the saying, "Tell a lie enough times and people start believing it." Remember, these are people who believe with true conviction that climate change is a massive global conspiracy that ALSO involves the rival Russians and Chinese and that immunizations are a secret indoctrination project to permanently hold the population hostage to lifelong treatment regimens only the State can provide. Sad to say, but the natural human state is IRrational.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Modern Day Professional

            " Remember, these are people who believe with true conviction that climate change is a massive global conspiracy".

            OK, this shit is too much and I'll have to introduce some facts in to propaganda and beliefs.

            No, it's _getting paid to believe_. Huge amounts.

            In EU alone "climatologists" got about 1 million euros _per person_ "for research", on condition they don't disagree with IPCC or EU "official policy" or local government. 5 _billions_ overall. In short: "Here's money, shut up".

            Which part of that you deny? Or how much are you getting paid?

            Also, it's "Global Warming", BTW. Name had to be changed because warming stopped in late 200x.

            Now it's global cooling but fortunately no need to change the name again and now the CO2 is causing "climate change", ie. cooling. Of course it's not called that as official truth is that climate is still warming despite it doesn't. And that can be done with one variable change within NASA.

            Less than handful of people know about yearly changes as 'correction factor' used isn't public. But we do know it is increasing all the time, thus increasing the temperatures NASA _announces_. Raw data is never published.

            And NASA provides more than 50% of global temperature measurements: Trivial to show what ever you want and actual temperatures are thoroughly irrelevant as only "corrected" ones are public information.

            In short: "Global warming" is a blatant power grab of IPCC (~20 politicians sitting in same room) who wanted to have power to grant CO2-quotas _for each country_. And they were so stupid that they _published it all_. Obviously commenter (any of them) hasn't bothered to read the memos IPCC has published.

            Talk about world domination. Documented and published globally. Not a conspiracy, but alliance.

            Unfortunately for them IPCC hasn't been able to give a single correct prediction and famous "hockey stick" curve was proven wrong in 2010 or so. Global warming has actually stopped totally by 2015 and it has been cooling since then.

            Did any of the politics change? No, of course not as the goal _still is the same_ and IPCC will lie what ever they can to reach that _political_ goal. No science(*) involved in any level, ever.

            Warmer period happened, that's right, but CO2 didn't have any part in that (and no-one can prove otherwise) as climate now is cooling and CO2-level is still going up. That's why you don't see yearly changes anymore (Or see numbers fudged by NASA, thus irrelevant), just 10 year rolling average. They'll change that into 20 years rolling average very soon. For obvious reasons.

            To make it even worse is that there's no independent research (or science) at all: Everyone involved is directly or indirectly paid to provide "correct" results by IPCC or political puppets of IPCC, local governments. Every heretic has been fired and/or ridiculed to death: That's not science. it's a witch hunt and every one involved is part of the global warming Borg: Assimilate or die.

            I repeat: That's not how the science works, that's politics. Compare to medicartel or tobacco industry 'research'. No-one in their senses would offer those as valid science.

            IPCC is a part of UN, therefore by definition global top political organisation. Which part of that is too much to understand?

            Also, if you don't understand that governments globally are reaping hundreds of billions yearly by "CO2-taxes" and therefore believe _anything_ as long as it benefits them, then you are so naive you shouldn't say anything.

            I'll repeat: It's about money and power. All of it.

            And if you believe that a government, _any government_, refuses to take free money ("CO2-tax") when they have an opportunity (given by UN and IPCC, therefore "science"), I'll label you as an idiot.

            Sorry, but that's the way it is.

  39. Nifty

    So why then does Slack launch Skype if I click on a number?

    Loads of people here suggesting switch from Skype to Slack.

    Well, my installed Windows version of Slack converts numbers in posts to hotlinks. Clicking on one always launches the Skype login prompt (Skype being installed for other reasons like doing remote desktop shares - Lync replacement). Slack thinks it needs a phone app to dial a number.

    So installed Slack has tight integration with Skype and I have yet to figure out how to remove it.

    1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      Re: So why then does Slack launch Skype if I click on a number?

      "So installed Slack has tight integration with Skype and I have yet to figure out how to remove it."

      No, it doesn't. It uses Windows associations to launch your assigned phone software. Numbers in my Slack launch 3CX for phone calls because that's what I have assigned. You can change the association or you can remove Skype. Either will fix your problem.

      1. Nifty

        Re: So why then does Slack launch Skype if I click on a number?

        Checked the associations. The only one for Skype is for opening Skype files (.skype).

        When I installed Slack I never permitted it to associate with Skype. But any number in Slack is seen as a Skype associated link.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: So why then does Slack launch Skype if I click on a number?

          That sounds like the file associations rather than the protocol ones.

          On Win 10 it's called "Choose default apps by protocol" and then you'll see a TEL: entry, There's a guide here - https://www.howtogeek.com/223144/how-to-set-your-default-apps-in-windows-10/

          It was oh so very, very helpful of Microsoft to break those up...

  40. Chris Jasper

    Skype Adverts

    I'd settle for not getting those bloody popup ads for Skype and how great it is every time I open up Windows 10

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is Skype?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Skype for iPhone was awesome in New York with an unlimited 4G package with family 5000 miles away - it just rang and you talked for free.

    I guess people use WhatsApp Calling now.

  43. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

    Oh man is the new Skype app terrible. Those cards just keep getting in the way, and it's SO SLOW. How is it SO SLOW? I liked the old Skype app. The new one doesn't really do any more and the interface is constantly getting in your way.

    I'm so happy that we use Slack at work so I'm not forced to use Skype's new app on a regular basis. I think this will probably be enough to get my friends who do use Skype to switch to something else.

  44. inmypjs Silver badge

    How many times do I have to post?

    Anyone who didn't ditch skype when Microsoft acquired it deserves what they get.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blah-ness

    Colleague overseas also want to ditch Skype due to security concerns, but Bossly Units doesn't want to.

    MEH.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Colleague overseas also want to ditch Skype due to security concerns, but Bossly Units doesn't want to.

      Do you want me to demonstrate how unsafe it is? The trick is to make sure the corporate lawyers are around when that is done, because they will immediately throw a hissy fit and they're the ones the board listens to. If you're an ordinary tech they could not care less.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Then the board replies back, "We didn't hire you to tell us what not to do, we hire you to tell us how to get what we want done without getting in trouble! NOW DO IT!"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Then the board replies back, "We didn't hire you to tell us what not to do, we hire you to tell us how to get what we want done without getting in trouble! NOW DO IT!"

          I'm OK with that, that's why I never offer these demonstrations for free :).

  46. Seajay#

    Notifications

    Interestingly I had just uninstalled skype. I didn't know about the update and I have no idea what the new UI is like. What I did know was that it had popped up half a dozen notifications over the last couple of weeks about stuff like emoji support that I really don't care about.

    Sounds like that spam was a reliable indicator of how bad the app had got.

  47. ClosedJar

    Ekiga

    There is always Ekiga. It's open source for both Linux and Windows. There are options out there for communication besides large companies programs.

    1. InNY

      Re: Ekiga

      I'm still trying to work out why all these chat clients aren't able to cross the app barrier. I phone someone, I don't care which phone provider they use, we chat.

      Need a visual chat? Has to be same chat app...

      Wasn't Ekiga going for/pushing cross-app capability at one time? Before everyone else decided that you had to use their app, and only their app?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Ekiga

        Classic problem. Cross-app compatibility BY WHAT STANDARD? All the app makers want to be the standard-bearer since that lets them dictate terms. And since there are high stakes involved, no one's willing to give up on the race at this point. IOW, for there to be standard, there must be a WINNER first, and the race isn't over yet.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Ekiga

          Classic problem. Cross-app compatibility BY WHAT STANDARD?

          Wasn't that what Jabber was supposed to be? And I notice various big players dropped out of that once they realized they didn't get enough customer lock-in with it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ekiga

            "Wasn't that what Jabber was supposed to be? And I notice various big players dropped out of that once they realized they didn't get enough customer lock-in with it."

            XMPP/ Jabber, yes.

            And it silently died for the reasons you nicely explained.

  48. simmondp

    Wire

    Look at Wire, simple, by some of the original Skype people, works with a phone app but ALSO WITH any modern browser (including a Chromebook) using WebRTC.

  49. Joe Gurman

    From the people who brought you Zune

    And the score for Microsoft trying to be one of the cool kids remains 0 for whatever.

  50. EnixPho

    I got gify tho

    After being a messenger for the 2000s I actually really like the changed they made. Everyone's at the stage where they hate everything for the first while. Like how they hate every new president when they come to power. And skypes definately going to tune out the bugs, so people need to chill.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: I got gify tho

      9 times out of 10, if I type /gify [term] it gives me a gif that's seemingly completely unrelated to the term I gave it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I got gify tho

      "Everyone's at the stage where they hate everything for the first while. "

      This is just bullshit and commenter is an hype-loving idiot who can't make any difference between a good change and a bad change, like the rest of us.

      The ideology is that "Every change always is for better and if people don't agree, they are stupid".

      Just like Mr. Pöttering must be thinking. In short: Concentrated arrogance.

  51. AbsolutelyBarking

    Classic project management approach of only consulting a very small select band of users who tell you what you want to hear, rather than a representative sample of the user base or SMEs who will provide some actual requirements. As opposed to sh1te features which no one needs. Howver you can still spin that "users have been consulted".

    FAIL! (speaking as a PM..). A prime example of the above being the abysmal "choose and book" service developed within the NPFIT programme.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Two people downvoted Hollirethevo. But no reply to say why. WTF. This, and AbsolutelyBarking's comments sound perfectly sensible to me - and I've suffered through more than a few "projects" that weren't developed with actual users' actual tasks in mind. Often spending hours and months of my time feeding back the problems, finding work arounds or just calming down irate frontline staff who can no longer do the things their jobs require them to do without spending twice as long as it used to, for half the outcome they used to get.

      Come to that, more than once I've suffered having my own, simple functional working tools, such as an A4 checklist ,replaced by specially "tailored" off-the-shelf packages that cost the Earth, were too complicated for ordinary users to use (unless they were employed full time just to manage the one package that ought to only take a few minutes to use!) and were incapable of actually giving the information we needed. And in many of those there had been a "consultation" that came no where near my team. In one case the only people consulted were subordinate colleagues of the person commissioning the work, who all thought like she did and had no concept of how any other users of this supposedly cross-disciplinary package did their work. It was even full of jargon and word meanings that no one outside the coterie understood or used the way they did.

  52. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

    No retro haven

    I was hoping that by using Skype in retro installations, I would be able to spend the last few Skype dollars in the account and then happily move on. First up, Windows XP. Yes, I know the First Rule of running an out-of-date version of Windows: shut down every possible MS feature and software. Please note that the version of Skype on this XP machine was pre-MS. Result: "Skype can not connect". Second, an iPod 2g. Result: hangs on next step, "Signing in ..." OK, that wasn't a fair test. After I turned Airplane Mode off, it got to the next stage: "Can't connect to Skype".

    So, not surprisingly, MS has changed things so that the old software does not work. I was mercilessly downvoted earlier when I wrote that they do that, but oh well. They downvote because they care.

    So, is there a way to get a refund check from MS for $7.67 ? Given bank charges and whatever I might not even cash it, but hold on to it as emblematic of a tie, a draw, a Mexican standoff, a stalemate--in an ocean of corporate victories.

  53. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    You wanna "offer new and exciting ways to keep in touch"?

    Really?

    Really, really?

    Then simply make it work, make it fast, and then, stop fucking with it! Period. No snapchat or instagram-cracker wannabees, no floating advertisements...just plain ol' boring reliable Skype.

    Got it?

    Of course, you don't...you're Micros~1, the most brain-dead marketing organization on the planet.

  54. Mr_E
    Holmes

    They are inspired by...

    ...smelling the 'jenkem'; that's their research.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After two years of using the linux 4.3 skype client without problems - today used the new 'upgrade'. What a mess - it just doesn't work properly for video calling. Useless. Microsoft you want some feedback ? You are a steaming pile of turd destroying everything you buy up ! Who in their right minds gets rid of a perfectly working program to replace it with one that doesn't work ? Oh yes microsoft does.... again and again and again.....

  56. TopCat62

    Yep. Pretty much hate everything they do to Skype. It used to be great. Now it's dreadful. The new "designed for Windows 10, would you like to try it" version was the worst ever. Thank god it let you roll it back. When I'm forced to use it, I'm out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      dreddful sounds much better, doesn't it?

      the drokkin' law should interfere and Make Things Right.

      drokk.

  57. This post has been deleted by its author

  58. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    feedback, yeah we got that...

    “We know this was a big change and we welcome feedback along the way.”

    However, we can't be arsed to actually listen to or aact upon fedback. Keep sending it, we'll dutifully file it to NULL.

  59. BillMac2

    Now a Useless Piece of Junk

    Just deleted Skype from my Phone & Tablet. If the web version goes the same way it will receive the same treatment.

  60. PTW
    Mushroom

    Skype (and MSFT), utter, utter, shite!

    Within months of MSFT taking control I lost my very early, firstname.lastname, Skype account, locked for no valid reason - to unblock tell us the month and year you created your account, and the exact balance, and which was the larger? Jesus left or right testicle, ad infinitum.

    Just had the 4th blocked after 3 weeks, and a single use, due to possible spamming, trying to unblock entails constant email/SMS code loops. It's required for my latest assignment otherwise I'd fuck it off, and I'm trying desperately to get them to move to something else.

    To top it off now there are no usernames only tel. or email.

    MSN messenger was pretty awesome tbh, and early skype was even better... Ah, halcyon days..

  61. Paul

    I used to regularly have problems trying to share to Skype, it would get confused and not offer the list of recipients. Now, there's no possibility at all to share, so they really f****d it up!

  62. Will-1881

    SOLUTION??

    Few months back, skype wasnt staying alive on my android phone(s) Eventually found out it didnt have the "Show skype as an ongoing notification" setting. So I installed an older version, and Voila!!, Fixed.

    Now its Forcing me to update. or Forced signout if I dont. Making it unusable without updating.

    But I tried an even older apk version I had from 2015. I ticked "Dont Show Me This Again",(The Update) and then Continue!

    And,... Voila!! Im back. Versions 5.9.0.14047 & 5.0.99.49715 both work. Im happy to send anyone the apk who wants it. (If Im allowed)

    w.f.bowmancc@gmail.com

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