back to article In memoriam: See you in Valhalla, Skype Classic. Version 8 can never replace you

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Skype Classic née 7, which tottered into the sunset on 1 November 2018. Born from the union of Niklas Zennström of Sweden and Janus Friis of Denmark, some of the brains behind the KaZaa peer-to-peer file sharing application, Skype spent its formative months in Estonia before …

  1. ldm

    Integrations

    You neglected to mention the myriad devices that had embedded Skype clients (TVs, for example), and things like the physical Skype phone, all rendered obsolete now.

    1. karlkarl Bronze badge

      Re: Integrations

      Its fine. I filled my recycling bin with dog turd the other day. If these fucks can produce landfill shit by locking hardware down to a dying service, then I don't feel that a single pleb recycling should need to pick up their slack.

      :)

      For the record, I never used Skype (I actually avoided it for this reason. I don't like being dragged along by the bollocks by dumb company whims)

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Integrations

      Most rendered useless ages ago. Ebay buying it wasn't great. MS was a disaster and it rapidly got worse.

      MS Ego more important than functionality. They wrecked MS Office after 2003 and accelerated stupidity in Windows after XP & 2003 server, culminating in different stupidities of Win8 and Win10. Almost everyone I know changed to Viber ages ago.

      1. 9Rune5

        Re: Integrations

        Viber is a mixed bag as well IMO.

        I have to run it in compatibility mode. Part of its user interface disappears on my 4k laptop screen.

        Viber also fails to integrate well with my headset. Skype OTOH understands that when I switch on my headset I probably want to use it for my next call. Viber OTOH barely remembers what device I set in my previous session. At least, AFAICT, Viber has dropped the annoying habit of automatically switching device mid-call...

        Skype 8 was a disaster, but I still prefer it over Viber.

  2. MiguelC Silver badge

    in memorandum

    Guess you meant in memoriam

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: in memorandum

      No, this mourning was channelling the PHB.

  3. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Unhappy

    *EX-TER-MIN-ATE*

    The daleks at Micro-shaft have completed their process. Embrace. Extend. Extinguish. *EX-TER-MIN-ATE*

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: *EX-TER-MIN-ATE*

      How they *EX-TER-MIN-ATE* billions and billions, over and over, is really beyond human understanding...

      There are still a few lucky ones that laugh sitting on their troves of money...

      1. Credas Silver badge

        Re: *EX-TER-MIN-ATE*

        How they *EX-TER-MIN-ATE* billions and billions, over and over, is really beyond human understanding...

        Just a cost of doing business with the US Government - a few $billion out of the marketing budget to kill that pesky spook-bothering encrypted peer-to-peer network.

  4. ma1010 Silver badge

    A new graveyard?

    I remember when Novell and Corel used to be the places software went to die. In more recent years, it looks like Microsoft is becoming the new software (and even hardware, considering Nokia) graveyard.

    Have a great product you want destroyed? Sell it to MS. They'll take care of it for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A new graveyard?

      ...or get me to write code for it...

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: A new graveyard?

      Danger / Kin?

      Nokia phones (though cunningly Nokia kept the name and the IP).

      They've not killed Visio yet, though certainly not helped it.

      They didn't do too badly with Sybase SQL and some other softwares for years.

    3. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Windows

      Re: A new graveyard?

      There have been rumuors of Microsoft embracing open Source and even GNU/Linux. Redmond might show its love by opening the source for Skype Classic.

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        "rumuors of Microsoft embracing open Source"

        Well, one reason Skype 8 sucks so much is it's been built on that ugly and bloated open source framework called Electron...

        And if they released the code of Skype classic, Windows version, a lot of open source purists would cry foul because not a small part was written in Borland Inprise CodeGear Embarcadero Delphi.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Re: "rumuors of Microsoft embracing open Source"

          And if they released the code of Skype classic, Windows version, a lot of open source purists would cry foul because not a small part was written in Borland Inprise CodeGear Embarcadero Delphi.

          Good grief. Yeurk! Er, are you sure? I remember reading (who knows where, it's a long time ago, so I may easily be in error) that it was written using Qt originally. It looked far too nice for Delphi as I remember it, or am I doing Delphi a disservice?

          1. Andy Denton

            Re: "rumuors of Microsoft embracing open Source"

            Yes, Skype's Windows version was indeed written in Delphi. I interviewed for a contract role working on it about 6 years ago (got the role, but they were tardy in responding and I'd already signed for someone else).

            1. bazza Silver badge

              Re: "rumuors of Microsoft embracing open Source"

              @Andy Denton, 95Rune, LDS, et al

              That's all fantastic insightful stuff, thank you very much. I consider myself well and truly edumacated!

              The use of Electron is indeed not a ringing endorsement of their own frameworks. Or anyone else's for that matter, if one considers Electron to be the least bad option... Perhaps they've given up trying to make cash from development, participating only where it makes them relevant (eg slowly displacing Java on the backend with .Net Core), and are prepared to let The Internet Provide otherwise. OMG, what have I said?

          2. LDS Silver badge

            "Yeurk! Er, are you sure?"

            Yes, I'm sure. I was contacted to work on it years ago. If you don't believe me, open it in an editor, and you'll find a lot of hints about it. Remember it was born among Denmark (where Anders Hejlsberg came from....), Sweden and Estonia, Delphi was quite popular in those areas in the past.

            Not all of Classic Skype is written in Delphi, there are several parts written in C or C++

            AFAIK Qt was used for Linux, and probably for Mac. Under Windows it soon didn't use the standard VCL (the Delphi GUI framework) widgets for Win32 - most of which are wrapper around the native Windows widgets - they used custom ones. What they used in the latest version I don't know.

            Delphi could (and can) create great Windows GUIs, far better than Qt ones, especially using some third party libraries that adds fairly advanced and well designed widgets. The drawback is everything is very tied to Win32, and not cross-platform friendly. It has now a different framework called "Firemonkey", which is cross-platform, but it adopted a Java Swing approach - it draws its own widgets even if it tries to mimic the native platform ones (as long as they don't change...), although lately if tries to use native ones as well.

            I would have understood if Skype used Qt for an easier cross-platform approach. Or even Xamarin, which at least is a product they own and control. But Electron??? It's quite and admission their own tools are not good for such a product.

          3. 9Rune5

            Re: "rumuors of Microsoft embracing open Source"

            It looked far too nice for Delphi as I remember it, or am I doing Delphi a disservice?

            Yes you are.

            Many moons have passed since I last used Delphi, but I remember working on a skinnable GUI back in the early 2000s. There were lots of great third-party components, often with full source provided. (We used https://github.com/plashenkov/TBX FWIW) Even if you shunned third-party components, it was very easy to get a decent looking GUI up and running.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: A new graveyard?

        The Black Hole!

        From Saggitarius A* to Sad Guitarius MS

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A new graveyard?

      "Have a great product you want destroyed? Sell it to MS. They'll take care of it for you."

      It doesn't even need to be a great product. MS aren't choosy as their developers can wreck anything!

      1. julian_n

        Re: A new graveyard?

        Yes. FoxPro went same way.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Yes. FoxPro went same way."

          Different story.

          FoxPro technology was re-used in Access - MS wasn't much interested in keeping dBase compatibility alive - its acquisition was a move against Borland (which acquired dBase) - in an era, beginning of the 1990s, when many market sector were still open.

          Anyway FoxPro development kept on, it was discontinued only in 2007, when file-based database were well past their prime, dBase a relic of the past, and fully transactional SQL database engines became widely available and cheap.

          Access gave far better lock-in into the MS stack, and still survives, but it's far less used than years ago. SQLite is probably the only simple database engine successful today, but because it's simple, small and free.

  5. Graham Newton

    It works on Linux and it's better than Skype for Business

    Well I find it works on Linux really well now. I don't even have to call "Skype" and listen the annoying upbeat message "if you can hear your message then your mic is working" (if you can't you are a hopeless loser). As for Skype for Business well that's pitiful. Like most things in office 365 the so called integration is abysmal. And I've discovered recently that Skype for Business does appear to have echo cancelling.

  6. earl grey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    well, at least the government

    can listen in any time they want now.

  7. PhilipN Silver badge

    “..based on your feedback...”

    Is what MS always say when they’re harpooning another user favourite.

    Be happy : “The theoretical argument against democracy is, of course, that man being prone to evil, something external to him and indifferent to his passions must be put up to govern him; the people will corrupt themselves, but a despot or an oligarchy, when it has satisfied its corrupt desires, still has a wide margin over which it may rule well because it is indifferent.”

    I was stifling a chuckle nay a guffaw while writing that. Must be ‘cos I take comfort from MS’ protection against you corrupt bastards.

  8. Dom Dz

    DO NOT FORCE US ONTO THE NEW VERSION!

    We have really hoped that Microsoft would listen to their loyal users! This is affecting so many people, personally and professionally! The fact that they are not planning on retaining chat history is, not just stressful, but traumatizing for some, who may have lost loved ones and their communications with them, on Skype. That is but one example. We need our voices to be heard!

    DO NOT FORCE US ONTO THE NEW VERSION!

    ttps://skype.uservoice.com/forums/914527-skype-ideas/suggestions/35808850-do-not-force-us-onto-the-new-version

    https://skype.uservoice.com/forums/914527-skype-ideas/suggestions/35074018-retain-all-chat-history-locally-regardless-of-the

    https://www.change.org/p/microsoft-microsoft-keep-the-desktop-version-of-skype-alive-for-professional-users

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: DO NOT FORCE US ONTO THE NEW VERSION!

      "The fact that they are not planning on retaining chat history is, not just stressful, but traumatizing for some, who may have lost loved ones and their communications with them, on Skype."

      While the corporate helicopter leaves the embassy roof, you hear a voice on the radio:

      "You fucked up. You trusted Microsoft."

      1. Dom Dz

        Re: DO NOT FORCE US ONTO THE NEW VERSION!

        And, who else are we supposed to trust, eh? Apple?? The bottom line is, they should not be fucking with our communication history and everything that we have shared over the years and, yes, a lot of people DO depend on it, personally, but also professionally. Some people have to use it, depending on where they work! It's messing with a lot of us. Trust? Maybe it's not so much trust, but all of us re-evaluating what we are depending on, daily, tech wise. Honestly, I never thought they would lose *this* much common sense, though. Time to re-evaluate, as most of these companies are not acting as a public utility, anymore. That's for sure!

      2. Viper11

        Re: DO NOT FORCE US ONTO THE NEW VERSION!

        Oh, come on! I've been with Skype, since early 2014. Over the years that I've been with them, have I expected them to suddenly delete important chat history??? Of course not! A great many of us do not worry over someone coming in and deleting important e-mails, either. Should we trust them after this, though?? No!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “As Skype turned eight, it was snapped up by Microsoft for an eye-watering $8.5bn, replacing the software giant's Windows Live Messenger and Lync platforms with its technology.”

    I’m pretty sure that buggy disease called Lync lives on as Skype in name only. Since we use Skype for our project chats (and customer facing project chats, because “Skype for Business” is so piss poor across corporate boundaries), and Slack never really took off here, it looks like I have some cats to herd come Monday. Yes, we could run the latest Skype, but Skype 8 only runs well under the user who installed it, and we have to use a special user to install software because.

  10. calonddraig

    P2P

    Apart from driving a few network admins mad at our organisation when clients became suoernodes and handled 10 Mbps throughput (this was in 2006 after all) the P2P architecture was interesting.

    Is anyone else using a similar architecture any more? I know that SIP is technically P2P in terms of media traffic, but I'm thinking about the initiation and authentication here...

  11. GrapeBunch

    Where is the bean?

    Of course, you-know-who is evil. But under previous management, Skype also had a policy whereby if you didn't use the account for a few months, they'd hide your credit. You had to go through a process to get it back. I found that policy without reason and reprehensible. It's not quite theft, but I wonder how easy it is to get back my $8 in credit? To get it refunded? Or even credited to Amazon (ha ha)?

    Multiply 100,000,000 quiescent accounts by $0.47, and that's still a heap of dosh.

    I stopped Skype as a background process because it seemed to be slowing down the (XP) system. Inevitably, that led to reduced and then no usage. I discovered google voice (or whatever it was called) which allowed free calling in North America and worked better than Skype. Perhaps as a free service, this was too successful for google, so they muddied the waters by withdrawing services and introducing less-capable ones. Now we just use a pseudo-land-line, with handsets around the house, connected to cable. I really don't understand how this came to pass. Would Ned Ludd have been proud that we have forsaken the communications offerings of our masters, or disdainful that we came to it in such a mindless way?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    skype 9

    you can bet it will be made incompatible with Windows 7...

    1. julian_n

      Re: skype 9

      Version 8 is incompatible with my Windows 7.

      It installs, then hangs - nothing short of a reboot kills the processes.

    2. Pan Handle Door Handle With Care

      Re: skype 9

      Version 8 already renders 1 in 3 currently compatible Android devices unable to be used for Skype calls, of course.

  13. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Vendor neutral, platform neutral, where do we go?

    I'd really like to see a video/audio conferencing software that is available on all major platforms and isn't tethered to an untrustworthy company like Microsoft, Apple, Google, or especially Facebook.

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: Vendor neutral, platform neutral, where do we go?

      Viber, Signal... or even retroshare. There is no shortage of VoIP/Video applications really. The big problem is convincing all your friends to use the same damned thing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vendor neutral, platform neutral, where do we go?

      Signal is possibly the best option?

      https://signal.org/

      The real difficulty, however, is in encouraging other people to switch from Skype or WhatsApp to any other service.

      The Signal developers include someone with a good track record in security (Moxie Marlinspike), the EFF regards it as the most trustworthy and with well thought through security technology, and it now also has the financial backing of one of the original WhatsApp developers who really didn't like what Facebook was planning to do with WhatsApp after it acquired it.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2018/09/26/exclusive-whatsapp-cofounder-brian-acton-gives-the-inside-story-on-deletefacebook-and-why-he-left-850-million-behind/

      Downsides: Signal requires your phone number as your user id, and the desktop program is yet another Electron app.

      Threema seems also to be worth a look, but, unfortunately it uses incomprehensible Compuserve-style ids as user ids, which is perhaps even less user-friendly as an id than a phone number.

      https://threema.ch/

      1. AJ MacLeod

        Re: Vendor neutral, platform neutral, where do we go?

        Doesn't Signal require you to link it to a mobile phone?

  14. David1

    Fake news?

    Skype 7 is still working here today on W7, albeit with popups asking me to update.

    Of course I just click the "not now" button.

  15. doug_bostrom

    Wasting user time in getting familiarized to the latest "design language" is the principal stock in trade of too many software firms.

    Although a pencil shaped like a pretzel is a novel "experience," so is chewing-gum in the hair. There's no good reason for either.

    All tools reach an optimum utility level and then offer distinction only by dithering around optimum efficiency. See ratchet wrenches.

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