back to article Skype Classic headed for the chopping block on September 1

Windows users still clinging onto to the halcyon days of Skype 7 (aka "Classic") were warned last night to move to version 8 or face the service dying from September 1. You read that right. While the rest of us look forward to a summer of frolicking in the sun or basking on beaches, a sad-faced Microsoft engineer will be …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    I abandoned Skype updates after it was bought my E-Bay – version 2, I think and entirely once Microsoft abandoned the old networking structure and forced everything through its servers. Can't say I miss it. VoIP means that Skype rarely offers any financial advantage over a standard phone call and for sharing there are a plethora of WebRTC clients.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Skype used to be widely used by families around the world to stay in touch......

      But that changed around 2 years ago when Microsoft started repeatedly breaking existing versions (presumably to force upgrades to Win10).

      The problem with that apart from the obvious, is that many in the grey-generation can't or don't want to switch to something that's too much of a departure from what they're used to (namely XP / Win7).

      Some only used a laptop for Skype, so couldn't deal with the new shinny. Some had Linux installed, but MS soon killed all 32-bit Skype. What do people use now? Well in my circle, its all 'Signal'.

      Dear Folks @ Redmond, you do realize that, you can't monetize customers if they're not customers any more, right?

      ---------------------

      https://www.computerworld.com/article/2917799/microsoft-windows/microsoft-fleshes-out-windows-as-a-service-revenue-strategy.html

      https://www.zdnet.com/article/running-windows-10-heres-how-microsoft-plans-to-milk-more-profits-out-of-its-cash-cow/

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: Skype used to be widely used by families around the world to stay in touch......

        "many in the grey-generation can't or don't want to switch to something that's too much of a departure from what they're used to"

        Speaking of the "grey-generation", in particular the seniors place I do volunteer work at...

        I doubt if they will notice. The only reason they have Skype on the office Windows 7 desktops is coz it slipped in with an update one day. Half of them didn't even notice the new Skype icon on the taskbar. If the icon changes shape or colour or something, no one will even comment. No one actually uses Skype, I've had to explain what Skype actually is to some of them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          'seniors place I do volunteer work at...'

          Didn't follow... What are they using to keep in touch with family overseas? The point about 'too much of a departure' concerned the Win10-UI (not skype). Its posing a problem for the seniors I support. Mint is ok as its XP-like with Firefox pre-installed too.

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: 'seniors place I do volunteer work at...'

            I was talking about the office computers, which I don't think the office staff use to keep in touch with family overseas. As I mentioned, half of them said "Skype? What's that?", so I doubt that half are using it, no clue about the other half.

            As for the seniors themselves, while I am there to help them with their various phones, tablets, laptops, and other sundry tech items, I have yet to discover what most of them use to keep in touch with family overseas. I don't recall seeing many Skype icons on their devices, and no one has asked me for help with Skype. If it does become a problem for any of them, no doubt they'll ask me for help. The communications stuff people have asked me for help with are Gmail, Facebook, and the most recent one asked me how to send SMS on this new dumbphone her children gave her. After fiddling with it and teaching her what I found out, I pointed out it wasn't a particularly user friendly dumbphone, which she agreed with. Screen was too small, menu structure was too complex, and the manual (which she had read) wasn't helpful. Not to mention the nasty wobble each time she pressed a button while it was sitting on the table, and the lousy viewing angle range.

            "Mint is ok as its XP-like with Firefox pre-installed too."

            That's the reason I installed Mint on that laptop, it has a reputation for being reasonable similar enough to Windows that teaching Windows users how to use it wont be too hard. I've even installed some Windows look alike themes. When it comes time for the office staff to decide what to do about the EOL of Windows 7, they'll have choices. Moving to Mint might be easier than moving to Windows 10.

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Skype used to be widely used by families around the world to stay in touch......

        Skype on Three was killed using the same excuse "done to ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience". For those of you who don't know that version dialed Skype using the PSTN and connected that way. That meant it didn't use your data allowance and the call to Skype was free. You didn't need to have a 3G signal or even credit on the phone and it worked very well. I used it extensively when calling abroad as calling freephone numbers were free. The phone cost me £20 and paid for itself in a few weeks. I was annoyed when they killed that.

      3. strum Silver badge

        Re: Skype used to be widely used by families around the world to stay in touch......

        >the grey-generation

        I resemble that remark.

        I have a memory of a phone call, from my brother in Australia (circa 1960) with the UK family huddled round a single, bakelite phone (we had an extension, but using it lowered the volume too much). Conversation was difficult, since the delay was immense and there was lots of noisy interference.

        And it cost a bloody fortune.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I abandoned Skype updates after it was bought my E-Bay"

      Between this and MS, you and most of the rest of the world have abandoned it.

      This is something the Stefs(*) of the world never seem to understand when they try to corner the market.

      (*)http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/stef/

  2. Dwarf Silver badge

    When will they wake up

    If you have to force your users to use your latest product, then you are doing it wrong.

    Conversely, if you made a product that people liked and did what they, the customer wanted (note not what YOU wanted), then they would be biting your hand off for it and would have already walked away from the older products.

    Your business model is not working - Skype, Windows 10, etc - if you ignore the customer feedback then your numbers will continue to dwindle as people go to other products where they don't have this unnecessary inconvenience .

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: When will they wake up

      I totally agree. Skype 7 is a much better user experience than the hideous new version. I'll keep using S7 until it stops working and then probably move entirely to Viber.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: When will they wake up

        I'll keep using S7 until it stops working

        I didn't even bother waiting that long. I just now canceled my subscriptions, removed my stored payment information, forwarded calls (for as long as the number lasts, or I get sick of it) to my phone, updated my profile to say I'm no longer using Skype, and quit out of the client.

        I'll have to order some new business cards (whenever I get around to it, which will probably not be any time soon - I hardly ever give the damn things out anyway), but that's much less annoying than moving to the new client.

    2. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: When will they wake up

      Perhaps the downvoters would state their position rather than just downvote and walk away.

      Of course, this is assuming its not the standard 3 MS accounts that downvote anything said against the corporate Borg collective, rather than listening to ex-customer viewpoints and assimilating that information.

      Doesn't bother me either way ... My views are my views, you won't change them, except by changing your position on how you deal with potential customers..

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: When will they wake up

        "assuming its not the standard 3 MS accounts that downvote anything said against the corporate Borg collective"

        When I read your comment there where four downvotes. The three must have a new recruit. I upvoted you BTW.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: When will they wake up

      From the article...

      "sacrificed on the altar of a Windows 10-alike single window experience"

      All alike. All the same. Dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. Flat, 2D, and ugly. Pastel blue boxes on super-bright-white backgrounds

      Whether we want it or not [and from what I see, *MOST* do *NOT*], this is Micro-shaft's "vision" for all of us, the 'minions' who are forced to use THEIR product because they practically cornered the market on it.

      One OS to rule them all

      One UI to find them.

      "One UWP" to bring them all

      and with FORCED UPDATES, *BIND* them!

  3. Ramis101

    People still use Skype?

    People still use Skype? and i mean voluntarily not foisted on them by 'management'

    Skype is a perfect example of an excellent idea, bought out by corporate greed & then totally fsked up. I dropped out around V4ish whenever it was they totally fricked with the UI. never looked back as there are many non-M$ VoIP solutions available. some even work too!

    1. Wade Burchette

      Re: People still use Skype?

      It is the same old story: big company buys smaller company, big company gets rid of the people who made the smaller company successful, big company then wonders why people abandon the smaller company's product.

    2. Jeroen Braamhaar

      Re: People still use Skype?

      Nope not me anymore ... Discord pretty much does everything Skype did for me (and more) -- but with less ads and more convenience.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Jakester

      Re: People still use Skype?

      I quit using Skype when I couldn't figure out how to start a session without having to use a Microsoft account. I have a MS account because I had to for some task a few years ago, but I will not use it again for any purpose. I don't trust MS. My cell phone allows me to make video calls to family, without having to get anywhere near Microsoft nor trying to get connected to a WiFi. The pre-Microsoft Skype was a good, reliable product, but Microsoft fixed that problem.

    4. Oodles of Noodles

      Re: People still use Skype?

      When I started to read this, I thought ' oh my, I used to use that '. So I looked on my ( windows 10 ) 'pooter, and discovered I still could. If I wanted to.

      I just don't see the need though. I wonder if I can get my £6.50 credit refunded?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft decisions seem to thrive on controlling abusive relationships.

    Just a thought but do Microsoft employees take this type of abuse home with them? Controlling their spouses in a similar way.

    It seems a very odd abusive relationship Microsoft have with their customers, whether it be clunky compulsory Windows Update, forced 6-month feature updates or the forced Metro style interface.

    "You will fucking like it", with a virtual slap, love Microsoft.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It looks like you're making a Skype 7 call

    TOUGH!

  6. Steve Kellett

    Oh marvelous

    Another several massively frustrating hours trying to get my Dad's Skype to work again while hanging on the phone from the other side of the planet.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Oh marvelous

      If he's on a pc with a browser Google Hangouts is "free" and works as well as Skype.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh marvelous

        Signal Messenger is properly free and unlike anything tainted by Google (or Facebook) won’t try to show you adverts or otherwise pimp out your (meta)data.

      2. T. OKC

        Re: Oh marvelous

        "...works as well as Skype."

        No file transfers in Hangouts. Only pics.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most of my Skype contacts have pretty much deserted it. When they do use it I never notice their message for several days - nor they my replies. Might as well use email - which at least would be seen within a few minutes.

    The new version also takes up too much screen space even in its "compact" mode.

    I won't miss it.

    1. Jim Willsher

      "Most of my Skype contacts have pretty much deserted it. When they do use it I never notice their message for several days - nor they my replies. Might as well use email - which at least would be seen within a few minutes."

      Likewise. I just checked and I'm 7.x. But I also just had a look through my contacts list and couldn't find anyone who I didn't now communicate with using other means, e.g. S4B.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        I appear to be on version 12, but as I never use it, no reason I should understand wtf is going on.

        Surely all this is going to get binned now MS Teams is free? I'm sure they could hack a consumer version out of Teams.

      2. joed Silver badge

        Same here. It's just about abandoned. And it seems that I was about the last one to turn off the lights (family wide). Logged in today to find out that MS added Cortana to my "contact". Well, they somehow had not grayed you "block this contact" for the snitch. Blocked her and "reported abuse" for good measure. Got the update reminder. Exited the application. Full satisfaction.

  8. theOtherJT

    This will be the same Skype 8 that...

    ...occasionally insists that I don't have either a camera, microphone, or - somewhat amazingly - speakers, despite the fact that Windows itself knows damn well they're there, and I can open literally any other application and immediately use them?

    Or would it be the same Skype 8 that doesn't ring when I call people who are on Windows 10 from my Windows 10 laptop, but does when I call them from my Android phone?

    Or perhaps the Skype 8 that will continue ringing on my phone for up to 5 minutes after a call has been accepted on my laptop, and then forcibly disconnect the call taking place on my laptop when the phone decides that I'm clearly not going to answer it and somehow manages to terminate the connection?

    Microsoft have totally fucking RUINED Skype with this version.

    1. niallyr

      Re: This will be the same Skype 8 that...

      Or the same Skype 8 which doesn't always show new messages.

      "Microsoft have totally fucking RUINED Skype with this version." yup

    2. Doofie

      Re: This will be the same Skype 8 that...

      I couldn't agree more, they have totally messed it up. On earlier versions we had the ability to check everything out, sound and video. Now we do not have any means of doing this. Far from making it easier they have made it more complicated, I would love to change but as I have been using Skype since the year dot do not know of one that will do the trick and allow any adjustments. For the first time I was in chat (I usually only use video), it was a scammer and there was no way I could cancel this. After a lot of messing about I managed to find how to delete the contact. Skype used to be great but now it is a nightmare and utter garbage.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Mac and Linux users were also treated to the update"

    The Mac update is bloody awful. Whoever re-designed the UI should be shot. I only use the chat side of Skype, and they've utterly ruined the way you interact with your contacts list.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Contacts list?

      Still better than the new Google Mail GUI then, which moved away from a contacts list for some magic, ethereal AI driven "you just type, we know what you wanted to type and who to", side bar where everything is combined into one system, that really is just a push to force everyone to still used the now zombified yet dead 7 times over Google+ or circles or whatever flavour of the week is in vogue.

      /rant

      1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

        Re: Contacts list?

        Still better than the new Google Mail GUI then, which moved away from a contacts list for some magic, ethereal AI driven ...

        Thank you. I knew, just knew, that I should refuse Google's invitation to change to the new Gmail. I think I'm still on some version from a few years ago, when they started shoving emails into tabs.

  10. Gio Ciampa

    Not used the desktop app for ages...

    ...my occasional use these days is via the browser version (and that's getting ever less frequent)

    (Meanwhile, at work, S4B is just a pain in the proverbial...)

  11. UberMunchkin

    Yeah, I won't be using Skype v8, it's an utterly horrible user experience. I think I'll move everything onto Discord.

  12. Joe Werner
    Headmaster

    "This is done to ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience"

    I feel enough acid rise to spit lacework into a steel bar. Unless they want to say that a f'ing nightmare is "the best possible experience" - note the emphasis.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    already moved...

    ...to web.skype.com...

    However I only have one group chat on there, and when that moves - goodbye Skype...!

    v8 is an abomination.

  14. Robigus
    Angel

    Now using Signal protocol

    With more than 2 on the line, Skype has problems. But it's MS, so work think it must be used.

    The new Skype, like WhatsApp, Allo and Facebook Messenger will use Signal's protocol, with Microsoft's added ... er ... magic.

    So why not use Signal*? No slurping, open source, non-profit. As recommended by security nerds. Works a treat.

    * I know, I know. Power, control, brand, the ability to read everything out of your phone and report to the Mothership etc

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Now using Signal protocol

      "So why not use Signal*?"

      Because, off the top of my head:

      - it asks for literally every single permission that exists under Android - and I don't care how open source it is or how many may or may not have scrutinized it, that is not one but lots of steps too far, and personally reviewing what the code does is not a practical option for me;

      - it works attached to your phone number which is hilariously nope - my phone is supposed to be anonymous and interchangeable communications infrastructure and absolutely not my subscriber identification, which is supposed to be independently anonymous from it;

      - apparently has "disappearing messages" which is an equally ludicrously giant nope: if you ever send me a message, not in a million heat-deaths of the universe do you get the right to "un-send" it, for any reason, under any circumstances. Try using your head before you type instead. Once you did, it's too late.

      ...and that's just the absolutely deal-breaking stuff I can think of in a hurry.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Now using Signal protocol

        Time for a Signal fork, perhaps. Maybe the next time I'm on vacation I'll take a look at it. The underlying crypto is good, but it does sound like the client Needs Work.

  15. Jc (the real one)

    We use skype a lot at work (most of us are remote from any office) and skype 7 has been a good tool. When the first update to 8 hit , most of us took the update... hated it and went back to 7. We even put up with the (usually more than once a day) nag to take the update.

    Microsoft clearly *KNOW* what is a better interface for us , they even have psychic power (because they have never asked me, for sure).

    Does anyone there recognise the "if it ain't broke...don't fix it" mantra?

    Jc

  16. David Austin

    *Looks up from Discord*

    That's nice honey...

    *Goes back to enjoying talking to people*

  17. msknight Silver badge

    Switched to Discord

    The majority of my friends have switched to Discord. I still have Skype running for a few people, but I get very little by that now.

  18. SeanEllis

    I was only moved to Skype 7 by force

    They want me to "have the best possible Skype experience" - well how about not taking away essential features (multi-window) and calling it an "upgrade"?

  19. onefang Silver badge

    Hmm, people sticking with Windows 7, people sticking with Skype 7, I see a trend here. 7 is the lucky number.

  20. SeanEllis

    For ages, people like me have been complaining that the information-poor UI and lack of meaningful configuration options in Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams make them inferior chat clients to classic Skype. MS has decided to address this, and in one simple move, as now made Teams and SfB as good as Skype. Genius.

  21. Mage Silver badge

    Skype still a thing?

    MS crippled it.

    Changed it so net books with cameras sat at 100% cpu.

    Added Adverts

    Reduced functionality, esp. Text, which is 99% of my use. I rarely use voice or video.

    Killed it on some platforms and crippled it on others.

    !

    It's a Zombie.

    !

    Tried QQ, but only Chinese on Linux.

    Almost everyone I know is now using Viber.

  22. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I only use Skype to talk to my parents who reside in another country and are very tech illiterate, and they have no end of problems with Skype not working as it should, on both Windows and Android.

    They used to have one of the Skype handsets so they could receive calls to a normal telephone but MS killed off the legacy Skype services last year leaving the handsets useless.

    Once I visit them in person I will look at removing Skype from their PC and installing something else that MS haven't ruined.

    1. TonyB

      Same situation here. My chair-bound 87 year old mum in UK could manage Skype on her smart TV. If I saw she was online I knew it was all ok, she gets an onscreen message, presses OK and we're talking to each other. Then in the interests of improving Skype it got pulled. Hutber's Law at work.

  23. CommanderGalaxian
    FAIL

    The Emoticons are Shite.

    No seriously, the new emoticons look like they've been done by a retard.

  24. Someone Else Silver badge
    WTF?

    Micros~1 never met a canard it didn't like.

    The team went on to further justify the culling: "This is done to ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience, and that there are no quality or reliability issues resulting from old technology and new technology interoperating." So there you go.

    I and so fucking tired of having "experiences" shoved down my gullet by software-cum-marketing outfits. Just write the damn software, test it, and put out a quality product for a change, OK? If you would do that, Micros~1, you wouldn't have to worry about "quality or reliability issues resulting from old technology and new technology interoperating". Course, then all the ADHD-addled Millennials you peter-principle into positions of authority would have to make an honest living doing something productive...and we wouldn't want that, now would we?

    1. Jakester

      Re: Micros~1 never met a canard it didn't like.

      The content of this blog reminds me of a what an IBM salesman said to a prospective customer on a large PC purchase a little more than 30 years ago while trying to seal the deal, "We realize that standards are very important to you, so we constantly update them." I just wonder if he worked at Microsoft before he went to IBM, or did he quit IBM and get hired at Microsoft.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Micros~1 never met a canard it didn't like.

      I and so fucking tired of having "experiences" shoved down my gullet by software-cum-marketing outfits.

      The sad thing is that user experience is a legitimate and important area of research. Developers are generally poor at figuring out what problems users will have with their products, so it's very difficult to write good software without doing user research.

      In my experience, though, it's very rare to find that a product marketed as an "experience" actually had any significant contribution from legitimate UX researchers, or even anyone who's seriously studied (e.g. read actual methodologically-sound research) the subject. Generally it means "we let some nitwit graphic designer loose on the thing, while we crippled the feature set as requested by management".

  25. hellwig Silver badge

    Skype 8 has most of the features present in the previous version...

    Yeah, the title really says it all doesn't it. Do companies really wonder why people don't move forward in these circumstances?

    If each release has less features, eventually they'll be releasing nothing, and STILL be complaining no one uses it.

  26. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Well, the bad news is, next time I use Skype I'll have to run the upgrade, then learn the new interface.

    The good news is that I don't use Skype unless I absolutely have to. Last time I did, it was to talk to my father (with my sister's assistance -- at his end). But Dad's dead now, so that leaves... zero reasons for me to use Skype.

    As it is, Skype wants to be my Best Buddy and tries to take over my phone every time I install it; send me constant notifications about things I don't care about; chew up CPU cycles I would rather spend playing Candy Crush (note: I have less than zero interest in playing Candy Crush); chew up battery life I'd rather spend oh hell, you get the idea.

    It's just a drain on resources and my tolerance levels. If I install it, it's to use it once, then I uninstall it. Then I gargle battery acid to clean out the taste.

    Not quite as bad on my PC because I can set it to not start on boot.

    Pros: It's not actually an incurable wasting disease.

  27. Martin-73 Silver badge

    RFS (Request for suggestions)

    Not specifically related to skype but this thread seems to contain people who know many and various messaging applications both for PC and cellular mobile devices.

    Anyone have any recommendations for a decent app for Android mobile devices that does texts to and from the USA and isn't coded by morons? I'm happy to pay a few pennies per text or a few more per time unit for unlimited, so not looking for free (although free beer would be nice)

    Current app is via magic jack, and is therefore 'free' (it's free with the landline jack device i pay a pittance yearly to use)... and was coded by drunk chimps.

  28. Uncle Ron

    LINE?

    I have begun to use LINE more than Skype. Any reason -not- to use LINE? It seems to have all the functionality, except it is "banned" in -some- countries. I think because state operators want to spy on it and LINE won't let them. Anybody have some insights here?

  29. EastFinchleyite

    Refund

    Does anyone know if I can getting my unused Skype credit refunded when Skype 7 goes dark.?

    1. EastFinchleyite

      Re: Refund

      Reply to self. Belay that last question.

      I found that if you are in the EU and bought credit in the last 14 days you can get that particular purchase refunded. Luckily for me that meant that my recent £10 top up has been reversed. Skype can keep the remaining 45p. I am not using Version 8. It is ugly and there are alternatives.

      Tough on you if you are outside the EU and purchase is older than 14 days. Live and learn.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Refund

        Skype still has around $27 of my money. It's not worth my time to try to get that back.

  30. -v(o.o)v-

    Skype 8 is disgusting. Cannot even search the chat history. I now open it only when I must - when some client or partner has told me that we need to continue in Skype.

  31. Bavaria Blu

    App Store version?

    I'm a bit confused with the terminology - there has been an app-store version of Skype - if that is the only one now supported, how is Windows 7 supported? If it is just a version / UI change, what's the big deal? I assume the app store version uses the new UI.

    I imagine most consumers use a mobile for video calling, as I understand it Whatsapp can only do calls on the mobile platforms, and Google Duo is also mobile only.

    Monetising the video calling market is impossible as users will just switch to an app which is free. Not sure how Google / Microsoft / Apple make any money on these products. The costs must be relatively low as its just data.

  32. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Goodbye Skype

    It was nice knowing you.

    Shame you has to go murder yourself repeatedly.

    Shame there's nothing to replace it.

    1. Nathan 13

      Re: Goodbye Skype

      Yep, bye Skype, another good thing MS fucked up so badly its unreal!!

  33. SeanEllis
    Flame

    In a widely-publicised response, Microsoft said in early August that they would allow Skype 7 to work for "some time" after the September 1 cutoff they had imposed. Skype 7 users breathed a sigh of relief.

    It seems that this might not be the case. In a conversation with Skype support (@skypesupport) on Twitter, they said to me:

    "Hi. Good day. You are right, Skype Classic (version 7.x) will be retired on 1st of September 2018. Is there anything that you would like to bring up or share?"

    I really don't think they want me to share my innermost thoughts at this point.

    1. Notborn Yesterday

      Its now the 20th November and V. 7 is still working! I only use it with 1 contact (my overseas fiance) and we use Whatsapp too. So if Skype 7 does suddenly die, it will be "no skin off our nose". We'll simply shift all chat to Whatsapp which, seems to be far, far quicker and more reliable when transferring photos.

  34. Notborn Yesterday

    Terrible mistake

    I think MS have made a TERRIBLE mistake! Instead of blocking all the Skype 7 lovers They've obviously blocked the hundreds of thousands of Skype 8 lovers! Haven't they?....

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