Microsoft is slowly making Skype better by making it free(er)

During the past few months, Microsoft has been making products that were previously a premium service, free. For example, Windows on devices with screens smaller than 9 inches is now free for OEMs, and even Windows upgrades, such as 8.1, were free as well. And with Skype, Microsoft has been slowly making premium features free.

Earlier this year, Microsoft made group video calling free with Skype, and today they are making screen sharing with more than two users free as well. As long as you have the latest versions of Skype, this feature should now be unlocked for you.

It seems quite obvious why Microsoft is moving the non-business features into the free product category. By keeping users hooked into the Skype platform, they will be more likely to use premium features such as the ability to call land lines or cell phones from within the app. More so, it keeps users from jumping to other platforms to achieve basic requirements for a chat service.

Microsoft has already positioned Skype as the company's preferred messaging platform and has more plans in the future about how to integrate it into other services. While there may have been a few bumpy roads in the past, it appears that the platform has stabilized and is once again turning into a great product.

Source: Microsoft

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Skype on Windows Phone at least is a terrible embarrassing piece of software.

That team should have been shown the door last month as well.

It is fine if they stopped with all the damn ads - and yes I block em now on the hosts file but you shouldn't have to do that.

"During the past few months, Microsoft has been making products that were previously a premium service, free. For example, [...] even Windows upgrades, such as 8.1, were free as well."

Windows service packs have always been free, haven't they ?

The only thing I hate is that it constantly uses 1 to 3% of CPU all the time for no freaking reason. The RAM usage is also pointlessly high.

When Facebook will release WhatsApp with voice/video capability (similar to Tango or Viber), Skype (on mobile at least) will be pretty much dead.

Almost all my friends use now WhatsApp. It's almost universal. And boy, it's snappy... Comparing to WhatsApp, Skype on mobile (at least on Android) feels slow as a turtle.
Also, no need knowing someone's ID... the phone number is the id. Simple as that.

My feeling is that Microsoft is walking on thin ice with Skype, in its current form.

I don't know what Microsoft is doing with Skype. It's a shame of an app on all mobile devices. No wonder whatsapp and viber runs circles around it.


Skype is the slowest and most unresponsive, laggard of all messaging apps that currently exist on my Moto G. Even when I was using iPhone 4 (and later iPhone 5), the Skype app would run deadly slow.

It is high time Microsoft optimized the app for mobile devices (on both of the major platforms - Android, iOS).

I agree with that, but what I don't understand is why WP7 phones didn't get an upgrade to WP8. The hardware was capable. My HTC Trophy was only slightly worse than my Lumia 520.

Darrian said,
I agree with that, but what I don't understand is why WP7 phones didn't get an upgrade to WP8. The hardware was capable. My HTC Trophy was only slightly worse than my Lumia 520.

Did the trophy have a dual core CPU?

Darrian said,
I agree with that, but what I don't understand is why WP7 phones didn't get an upgrade to WP8. The hardware was capable. My HTC Trophy was only slightly worse than my Lumia 520.

Windows Phone 8 requires TPM. Does any WP7 device have that?
I don't think so, due to WP7 does not even support it so no device manufacturer has added it to any device. Even if they did, would it be profitable for the device manufacturer to push WP8 to an old device? No!
Sad facts but also the bitter reality.
Windows Phone 7 is Windows Mobile 6 with a different UI and is essentially Windows CE.
Windows Phone 8 is Windows NT, completely different to CE, a dead system.

They can start by fixing the os x version. It was really good, then they had this new design and made it into one big massive window. Or you can have a mini list that does nothing.

I use Google chat and you can make free landline or cellphone call in Canada. I like the call quality and free calling feature. Skype is still so much ad infested program.

Auditor said,
I use Google chat and you can make free landline or cellphone call in Canada. I like the call quality and free calling feature. Skype is still so much ad infested program.
Please update this comment when the version for Windows Phone arrives.
The best part of Skype is that it runs on all main platforms, the worst - that it does it... erm... not the best way.

Capy said,
Please update this comment when the version for Windows Phone arrives.
The best part of Skype is that it runs on all main platforms, the worst - that it does it... erm... not the best way.

As long as i get free call to phone, i dont care platform. the plugin runs on windows, mac and os x platform. This is all what I need.

Auditor said,
As long as i get free call to phone, i dont care platform. the plugin runs on windows, mac and os x platform. This is all what I need.
Good for you, but I need seamless transfer from desktop to phone/tablet, that's why my opinion differs greatly from yours.

Error1 said,
Skype progress moves way too slowly.

Skype use to be cool until Microsoft bought them. Now, I barely know anyone who still uses it. Just like Danger, Inc, Perceptive Pixel, and Rare, Microsoft is a place where cool products goes to die.

this is exactly what happen, can't agree no more! Microsoft i the place cool thing going to die. Except Microsoft Research of course.

Why don't they make it better, QUICKLY, by making the Windows Phone app not suck, or at least not suck worse than their Android app.

anothercookie said,
Now if they only made the actual software better and less ugly
And running better on mobile devices too.

anothercookie said,
Now if they only made the actual software better and less ugly

there were images of updated UI for desktop skype, i suspect it will come by january 2015

I don't think Microsoft are serious about positioning Skype as the company's preferred messaging platform. They have just turned off the Windows desktop API making messaging in third party apps all but impossible.

xankazo said,
The Skype team doesn't like anything Windows mobile (Windows RT / Windows Phone), that's a fact.

Do you have any proof to backup that fact?

99% of such things in life cannot be proved by an official written literal sentence from a corporate communique'. Simply just because corporates keep even their empty sheet of papers top secret. On the other hand, you dont need to have nuclear physics university degree to see the trends and the stupid moves a company makes from month to month for years. Yes, its a little bit harder or less convenient to draw the conclusion yourself, than read a 1-liner from the vendor that says: "yes people, hereby as CEO of the company I officially announce, that we want to kill this product by the way of constant stupid business decisions"

soder said,
99% of such things in life cannot be proved by an official written literal sentence from a corporate communique'. Simply just because corporates keep even their empty sheet of papers top secret. On the other hand, you dont need to have nuclear physics university degree to see the trends and the stupid moves a company makes from month to month for years. Yes, its a little bit harder or less convenient to draw the conclusion yourself, than read a 1-liner from the vendor that says: "yes people, hereby as CEO of the company I officially announce, that we want to kill this product by the way of constant stupid business decisions"

That's a no then.

soder said,
99% of such things in life cannot be proved by an official written literal sentence from a corporate communique'. Simply just because corporates keep even their empty sheet of papers top secret. On the other hand, you dont need to have nuclear physics university degree to see the trends and the stupid moves a company makes from month to month for years. Yes, its a little bit harder or less convenient to draw the conclusion yourself, than read a 1-liner from the vendor that says: "yes people, hereby as CEO of the company I officially announce, that we want to kill this product by the way of constant stupid business decisions"

So then it's not a fact, but an assumption.

If a guy in front of you shoots another in the head, you just assume he shot somebody in the head until the murder is announced in a press release?

soder said,
If a guy in front of you shoots another in the head, you just assume he shot somebody in the head until the murder is announced in a press release?

But what you're saying is, you didn't actually see any one shoot any one else in the head, you're assuming they did.

Kind of just proved yourself wrong i'm afraid.

soder said,
If a guy in front of you shoots another in the head, you just assume he shot somebody in the head until the murder is announced in a press release?

I am the guy that heard from someone that they watched a guy shoot another guy in the head. If someone tells you they just watched a guy shoot another in the head, would you just take their word for it?

soder said,
Ok, as this conversation leads obviously to nowhere, lets close it.

Good to see someone can admit when they're wrong. If only others would do the same. Nice one.