Microsoft confirms Skype to replace Messenger with Windows 8.1

In June, it was first reported that Microsoft would replace the Messenger app in Windows 8.1 with the Skype app. While Microsoft did not confirm that news at the time, today it has officially revealed that Skype will be included in all Windows 8.1 PCs out of the box.

In a blog post, Microsoft said:

Over 300 million people today use Skype for the most personal connections in their lives, sharing those everyday moments big and small across messaging, audio and video calling. With Windows 8.1, Skype is included right from (the) Start, making your new Windows device the best way to stay close and connected.

The blog post will apparently be the first in a series that will look over the over 20 new and improved apps and services that will be included with Windows 8.1 when it officially launches on October 18th. The blog also includes an infographic, shown below, that quickly goes over all of the in-house apps that will ship with all Windows 8.1 PCs.

Among the apps mentioned in the infographic are the two new Bing apps, Food & Drink and Health & Fitness that are available for the public preview of Windows 8.1. It also shows the new Alarms, Calculator, Sound Recorder and Scan apps but with no descriptions.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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31 Comments

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I've always disliked the Skype UI. It is clunky and I'll give a few reasons why:

1) The contact list for "all". Why does it say messenger in italics for each contact? Who cares what service they've used or are using. This just strikes me as poor integration. It should be disabled by default.

2) Why, to send a file, is it under "conversation", but to share screen its under "call". I kinda thing these two menu's need to be merged.

The view and tools menu seem a bit pointless to me.

I dunno, the whole thing just feels a nuisance. In messenger, you double clicked a contact, opened a window and everything was just there. In Skype, it feels you are juggling about trying to find things.

I liked the simplicity of the messaging app and consider this a downgrade. I was hoping they would add more features and instead they chose to bloat it up.

As a chat client, Skype should be an example of what NOT to do. It's horrible.
I don't want this giant ass interface, with its muddled contact list and chat history piled on top of video and phone features. I want something small, and collapsed into a minimal interface with an area for me to type a message to a friend, that shows an ongoing conversation.

If they send me a message it should appear as a toast, and if I tap or click it I'm presented with a minimal interface for chatting. Not all of the other bull**** I don't want. This should also have the ability to enter the full UI simply by tapping or clicking something from the chat UI.

Skype is the exact opposite of what a chat interface should be, now MS seems fit to ram it down our throats.

Ugh, Skype. No. I hate bulky, ad-ridden interfaces like that one. Sure, if they do a Metro version it may be nice, but I still worry it'll be like polishing a turd.

Microsoft should introduce a free Lync Personal Edition with the corporate features stripped out instead of that junk.

If they could make Skype for Windows Phone 8 more useful!
No file transfers!
It is slower than the built in Messenger app that is fused with the SMS app and Skype consumes much more battery.
I have to turn off the built in Messenger function to avoid double notifications.
Using the plain Skype account disables the push support, making Skype app useless.
(you can only disable the popup and the sound notification of Messenger inside Skype, the tile will still show the number of messages)

Has Facebook moved away from XMPP or have they added too many proprietary functions?

I used to be a huge MSN fan back in 2001 - 2004, then I got a job and didn't have much time to chat. I started to need a messaging client again this year and have found Skype to be inferior to the MSN of 2004 - I don't understand why it replaced MSN messenger.

If this means facebook chat is fully supported then yes please! If then its another step back. They already dropped support for thirdparty services in their picture app. I don't like how MS is moving away from the original concept. Same with their facebook app. Its not even following the Modern UI principles, why should others?

Now merge these Windows Media Play + Zune + Xbox Music + Xbox Video + Windows Media Center and release one good app doing all the work perfectly...

That is up to Facebook - not Microsoft. Facebook's chat specification is NOT open; in fact, they have locked out Yahoo Messenger (which actually has a deal with Facebook) as far as inter-messenger chat goes. Because Facebook's own Messenger app won't download on Windows 8 or later, I have to either keep a tab open to the FB home page or use a third-party app in an (Android) VM.

That's funny as I have Facebook Messenger on my desktop running the 8.1 Preview. It doesn't work properly but it works well enough to use.

xankazo said,
They better include Facebook chat support this time.

I've had Facebook chat support since Win8 was first released! Simply link your Microsoft Account with the Facebook app and you're good to go.

Nas said,

I've had Facebook chat support since Win8 was first released! Simply link your Microsoft Account with the Facebook app and you're good to go.

I think the point is since Messenger is gone(which is how I currently get my fb messages), Skype Metro having fb support.

PGHammer said,
That is up to Facebook - not Microsoft. Facebook's chat specification is NOT open; in fact, they have locked out Yahoo Messenger (which actually has a deal with Facebook) as far as inter-messenger chat goes. Because Facebook's own Messenger app won't download on Windows 8 or later, I have to either keep a tab open to the FB home page or use a third-party app in an (Android) VM.

Well Skype for Desktop currently has Facebook deeply rooted within. It even has a home screen for your news feed.

dead.cell said,
I just hope it runs well. While I love Skype for everything it does, it still feels like a giant cluster f-word.

Well, though this is just a guess on my part, seeing how they improved the mail app quite a bit for 8.1 who's to say there isn't a big Skype metro update waiting for 8.1 as well?

CygnusOrion said,
Yet no iMovie equivalent.

The Store can provide, or code your own and fill the niche.
I love it when people who have the skill bemoan the vendor for not including enough, and those who try to build competing products whine and wail at the anticompetitive nature of bundling competing products.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.