Microsoft: Windows Phone Skype, Facebook updates coming

As promised, Microsoft's Windows Phone leader Joe Belfiore held a Reddit AMA session today and chatted about the company's plans for the mobile OS. One question about the lack of major apps for Windows Phone did yield some info from Belfiore about big updates in the works for the Skype and Facebook apps.

Belfiore stated that he and the Windows Phone team are currently testing an upcoming version of the Skype app "and it certainly helps with perf-- we'll keep going." He also offered up some details about what will be included in a new version of the Facebook app that is currently targeted for release in June. Belfiore said, " ... this update brings improvements to perf, having full-width photos in the newsfeed, and seeing photos & comments at the same time."

Belfiore also addressed the current "app gap" that Windows Phone has with iOS and Android. He said there is "no silver bullet" in trying to deal with this issue but he does feel that Microsoft has made progress on this front. He added:

We (and not just we.. I) are visiting ISVs, looking for ideas that can help them grow their volume and user engagement, providing them with funding and development help - and in some cases we are even using our own team/devs to write apps ourselves.

Microsoft is still mostly focused on getting key apps to come to Windows Phone, although Belfiore did state that a little more attention is being put on improving the ones that are currently on the OS. In response to another Reddit AMA question, he did say that getting Google's major apps for Windows Phone is high on their "want list." However, he added, "Unfortunately, the apps are Google's and I can't say when they will act. Only our friends in Mountain View know timing. You should ping them! (often!)."

Source: Reddit | Image via Facebook

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Yet again sounds like WP Skype is merely getting 'performance tweaks'.

The thing is missing features all over the place and that team can't seem to get its act together.

HOW MANY more facebook app version do we need?

The VERY FIRST version was the best. It was simple and intuitive; a true windows phone application. It was fast and responsive. The only issue was it lacked some features which could have been added upon.

These new versions feel like android shoehorned in wp.

If that was true then they wouldn't have updated it to begin with (from what I remember there was a lot of backlash at the beginning with how limited it was).

The latest version is the best yet IMO, even if you feel it's too Android/iPhone-ish... it's tweaked to meet the metro guidelines. I personally haven't had any problems with it. And the upcoming one is only going to be better and more in line with the latest Facebook features.

It wasn't *that* limited. It just lacked a couple of core features that could have been added in 2/3 updates.

But they abandoned the whole fluid UI for the current clunky one that doesn't even follow wp design.

Facebook app... it needs ability to drop messages into the messaging hub, and be able to send messages from the messaging hub. Loading up or resuming the Facebook app is just a pain in the rear. It's pretty much destroyed the slick interface WP had for me...
He said the people hub was used by 99.95% of people to access photos... yeah, so well done on removing that feature, now it's just a poorly done version of the Facebook news stream.

Hopefully these two things are going to be addressed, if not, please removing any references from the OS pertaining to Facebook if the app is not installed. It's a windows phone and not a Facebook phone.
Either do it right (balls to the wall), or don't do it at all.

Forget Google. I am sick of them. If there was another youtube alternative that had like 4 of the shows I watch on it, I wouldnt use a google products anymore. Except at work where I have to.

Scabrat said,
Forget Google. I am sick of them. If there was another youtube alternative that had like 4 of the shows I watch on it, I wouldnt use a google products anymore. Except at work where I have to.

I feel the same here, while not knowing the true reasons or incentives (but while having my own solid opinions on the matter) I would really love to be able to boycot google stuff. To me lately they just seem to be the 'kid that got bullied but is now the worst bully ever' and I can't stand the overall love of them. I mean I know all companies (ms/apple etc.) say what we want to hear, that's what pr and marketing is in general, I also know no company seriously 'wants to play nice' unless its for business reasons, but I seriously think Google right now are riding s wave of fanboyism that is unparalleled and they are taking things too far.

Just my opinion folks