Microsoft overhauls Skype notifications, might actually make them work properly

In recent weeks, Microsoft's Skype team has been pretty busy, rolling out updates for its apps on iOS, Android, Mac and even Linux, along with two updates for Windows Phone 8 (as well as killing off its Windows Phone 7 client). But as many Skype users will know, one major weakness has persisted throughout these updates - and many others - regardless of device or platform: notifications. 

Today, Microsoft announced that it is finally fixing this weak link, promising that it is embarking on "the next step in our journey to offer the best possible Skype experience across all devices." As part of the improvements, Microsoft is introducing active endpoint support, which it says will send chat notifications only to the device that you're currently using. 

You may well have experienced a scenario where, while engaged in conversation with someone on your PC or tablet, your phone lights up or beeps every time you get a reply from the other person, notifying you of their incoming Skype message. This is precisely what Microsoft aims to eliminate. It says that when you're messaging someone on one device, "all of your other devices will remain blissfully silent." 

As soon as you stop 'actively using' Skype on any particular device, your notifications will immediately become less focused, opening up to all of your devices to make sure the latest message is delivered to you, wherever you may be. The changes apply specifically to chat notifications, and not incoming call alerts, which will continue to be "sent to all devices so you can answer on whichever gadget you prefer, not just the one you're closest to." 

Microsoft says that the rollout of this new notification update has begun and will continue over the next few weeks. It advises users to ensure that they have the latest Skype version installed on all devices to ensure that the active endpoint support works as intended. 

Source: Microsoft

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I think it is a bug on MS and Skype's part on some users/clients. I have seen it before but its personally never happened to me.

We use Skype at work as our communication tool with partners and internally. Sometimes when I work from home and sign in, I get messages from days previous. It's quite annoying

Reading the comments here, some people have had the same terrible, even horrific, Skype conversion problems I went through - loss of half or more contacts.

Personally I'm ok with the Skype service, but I'm not ok that it destroyed years of contacts (people) that I knew and spoke to. The brand is extremely tarnished for me. It was forced; not functional and I lost most (i'd guess around 95% of my contact list) as a result.

It was a total an utter f-up on MS's part. Mess up the start menu, whatever - you get the next vista, break the way you communicate with people - not on, you lose trust and It's shameful.

Text message notifications have never worked for me on the Windows 8 app. Calls, yes, but I almost never see a text notification unless I've already got the app open. It'd be nice if it worked at all, let alone cross-platform. :(

I hope they'd also improve message notification and call delivery on WP. My friend has one and notifications usually show up quite late and calls sometimes don't go through, unless the skype app is in the foreground.
Facebook and viber are ok.

For those who use WP; is it the same for you too?

Better late than never. The Live Messenger did not have this problem and most of the messengers did not have too. I stopped using Skype on mobile for this reason.

aoliveira said,
Better late than never. The Live Messenger did not have this problem and most of the messengers did not have too. I stopped using Skype on mobile for this reason.

because other messengers did take such issue into account when they implemented ability to log in at many devices simultaneously (in past you were automatically kicked out from previous device upon logging in). Skype was the only odd one all this time

Without beating a dead horse they should revive WLM and integrate it with Skype. I lost loads of contacts who were not able to sign into Skype properly with their Windows Live accounts like I was/am able to - Jessie if you're out there.... :)
At least Skype (for desktop) does have FB Messenger integrated which is nice for me since I hate FB and its Messenger app though I wish it was integrated on WP8.1. And while they are at it they should have SMS integration like Google Hangouts does. Speaking of which they should integrate that too....yeah I ranted. Soz.

Please, please, please give us better notifications on the desktop!! I usually miss the glowing orange icon in the Taskbar. I'd love a popup or toast style notification when I receive a new message.

Probably coming in Threshold when modern apps can be used like desktop apps. The current Skype modern app does that already.

deadonthefloor said,
So, if I have clients open on Xbox ONE, WP, WinRT I'll still get notifications on all three?

I was wondering this too. i'm guessing once you're actively using a device you will get notification on said device. so if you have Skype on 3 devices but is only actively using 2 you will get notification on those two active devices.

Yes, but if you're active one of them... it'll only show notifications on the one you're active on. That way all your devices won't go sounding off with notifications.

Finally! Currently when I get a Skype message, desktop Skype on my Win7 laptop pings, desktop Skype on my computer pings, Store Skype on my computer pings, Windows Phone Skype pings, when I'm using it for Android development work so does my ancient HTC Desire S... this will be very, very welcome :)

It's funny how Windows Live Messenger already had all these features/improvements well before Skype was even popular. WLM was way ahead of it's time. Glad to see Microsoft finally bringing Skype on par.

j2006 said,
It's funny how Windows Live Messenger already had all these features/improvements well before Skype was even popular. WLM was way ahead of it's time. Glad to see Microsoft finally bringing Skype on par.

Don't mention WLM. It's so sad! I lost half of my online friends when it died, lol.

Jub Fequois said,

Don't mention WLM. It's so sad! I lost half of my online friends when it died, lol.


Me too... but then again I barely had friends to begin with :'(

Definitely sad to see that good software (WLM) got replaced with crappy software (Skype). Must've been stupid internal politics that forced out the WLM team to be replaced with an outside team that did a horrendous job practically on purpose (their disdain for Microsoft buying them).

Skype "sucked" as much before Microsoft bought them. To be fair, I think MS has actually done some pretty good improvements since the acquisition. Particularly for Linux.

Don't understand why the interface, being a Microsoft application, has to be such a thorn in the eye compared to the rest of the system. :/

I really don't agree with this. If you have a client opened in one device, it should receive it. You don't want that client to receive something? Close or disconnect the client. Simple enough.

Ive never had this problem.

riahc3 said,
I really don't agree with this. If you have a client opened in one device, it should receive it. You don't want that client to receive something? Close or disconnect the client. Simple enough.

Ive never had this problem.


Either you never used Skype, or you don't have multiple devices. Right now, I have a laptop, tablet, phone around me at home. If I'm on the laptop, I definitely don't want the other 2 devices beeping every time I receive a new message, if I am actually doing the chatting on the laptop. Same deal goes if I'm lying on the couch with my phone. This will be huge for me, if it works as described.

Closing the clients is not an option on mobile devices since notifications come in the background regardless. Signing out is not even offered as an option in some apps and even if it's there, what am I supposed to do? Sign out of the laptop when I get off my desk and sign into my phone as soon as I land on the couch?

riahc3 said,
I really don't agree with this. If you have a client opened in one device, it should receive it. You don't want that client to receive something? Close or disconnect the client. Simple enough.

Ive never had this problem.

I think you misunderstood.

Apparently all devices do get the message, but only the one that is being used will get a sound notification. The rest will remain silent.

You must not use Skype on multiple devices then. It's literally the most annoying and problematic thing that has ever occurred..ever..for all time... Imagine logging into Skype on a new computer and literally getting all of your message alerts from the past 6 months at once!

riahc3 said,
I really don't agree with this. If you have a client opened in one device, it should receive it. You don't want that client to receive something? Close or disconnect the client. Simple enough.

Ive never had this problem.

Well, I've had this problem. While at home, working on my PC and chatting with someone and my messages appear as notifications on the Xbox One, that my son is watching cartoons. I'd rather it not happened.

I have currently Skype on my Android, laptop (8), and PC (7). I do not have this problem at all.

I simply logout of Skype when Im not at the device. Simple.

riahc3 said,
I have currently Skype on my Android, laptop (8), and PC (7). I do not have this problem at all.

I simply logout of Skype when Im not at the device. Simple.


And it doesn't bombard you with notifications when you log back into those devices?

riahc3 said,
I really don't agree with this. If you have a client opened in one device, it should receive it. You don't want that client to receive something? Close or disconnect the client. Simple enough.

Ive never had this problem.

My tablets, phone and desktop all bleep on every new message. If you think I'm going to disconnect my phone or tablets just to avoid getting those bleeps and call that a good UX... I'm glad they fired you from the Skype team ;)

Stokkolm said,

And it doesn't bombard you with notifications when you log back into those devices?

Nope :s I just tested it out with a friend. He typed one letter messages. I received them on my Android device. Looked on my PC and no notifications.

MrHumpty said,
If you think I'm going to disconnect my phone or tablets just to avoid getting those bleeps and call that a good UX... I'm glad they fired you from the Skype team ;)

Then do not complain. This is common sense.

If you have email configured on your PC and on your mobile device, you are going to receive a notification about it on both. Now, in IMAP, if you read it on one device, you wont get a notification about it as it has already been read.

As always: Problem is between chair and keyboard ;)

riahc3 said,
As always: Problem is between chair and keyboard ;)

Why keep arguing.

When someone was logged in on multiple devices, say a phone, a tablet and a laptop, but was chatting on a desktop, ALL devices played a notification sound as soon as a message arrived.

If there wasn't anything to fix, then why the skype blog post, saying they've fixed it?!

Stop acting so high and mighty and telling others they're stupid.

Also, not everyone can be bothered with constant logging in and out of skype on multiple devices. You are fine with it; many are not.

riahc3 said,

Nope :s I just tested it out with a friend. He typed one letter messages. I received them on my Android device. Looked on my PC and no notifications.

You tested it now...after they have fixed it? Of course it's not happening!

riahc3 said,

If you have email configured on your PC and on your mobile device, you are going to receive a notification about it on both. Now, in IMAP, if you read it on one device, you wont get a notification about it as it has already been read.

As always: Problem is between chair and keyboard ;)

Nice bit of arrogant assumptions there. Clear different between email and any IM messages are the frequency they're sent at. I can expect to get multiple IMs sent in one minute versus emails.

But as you mentioned the unread email notifications do sync properly between desktop and mobile. Skype does not, at least if you're having a conversation on your desktop. Often I see my phone vibrate nonstop to the point of activating DND to silence it for a bit.

What's the point of logging off an IM client on mobile? Unlike desktop clients which need to stay running in the background to receive messages, mobile clients pretty much connect to bouncers that relay new messages as notifications to mobile devices. Hence you can keep the Skype app closed (on iOS and WP at least) and still get notifications.

Facebook can take care of this problem and it does. If I hold a chat on my desktop it does not set off my phone. So at least MS is acknowledging it's a current problem and fixing it.

Stokkolm said,

You tested it now...after they have fixed it? Of course it's not happening!

So they fixed it as soon as this news came out? I doubt it.

Im not saying its a issue that exists, Im just saying it has never happened to me!

riahc3 said,

So they fixed it as soon as this news came out? I doubt it.

Im not saying its a issue that exists, Im just saying it has never happened to me!


Read the last paragraph again... all I'm saying is that it was a huge problem for a lot of us, but I'm glad you never experienced it.

Yogurth said,
What a pile of advertising crap has Microsoft turned Skype into since the acquisition, no words.
Use it daily. Never see ads. Oh wait... I pay a little bit to not have that problem. Call me old fashion but I don't have a problem with platforms being viable.

You won't see it if You are blocking Microsoft advertising IPs through hosts file as I do, though You will still be able to see ads placements, but it is still terrible that I have to do that in order not to see ads flashing in main window, in call window...etc.