Skype will no longer update Windows Phone 7 app

Microsoft's Skype team has made the decision to stop development of its app made for Windows Phone 7 devices. In a post on the official Skype blog today, the team stated they will now concentrate their efforts on Windows Phone 8 app development.

The blog post stated that the Windows Phone 7 app will remain available to download from the Windows Phone Store and people who have already installed the app will still be able to use its features. Skype released the first non-beta version of the app in April 2012. However, the app for Windows Phone 8 has gained a larger user base since it launched in a preview version in November 2012. The blog stated:

The Windows Phone 8 platform is gaining good momentum in the marketplace and at Skype the vast majority of our Windows Phone base and usage is on Windows Phone 8.

The move to abandon Windows Phone 7 updates for Skype is somewhat expected as sales of smartphones with the older version of the OS have quickly been exceeded by those with Windows Phone 8, especially due to sales of low cost phones from Nokia's Lumia family.

Source: Skype blog | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Blackberry to cut 4,500 jobs, leaves consumer market

Next Story

Apple: New iPhone demand is 'incredible'

33 Comments

View more comments

CygnusOrion said,
But Microsoft promises to never ditch WP8! Come on, stick with the team man!

Right! Give him the koolaid! Its blueberry flavored today!

j2006 said,

No, because WP8 and Windows 8 and Xbox1 share the same core.

If it was that simple they would already work together. MS made different APIs for each of them that just look similar. If they make a new unified API for them all then at best they'll choose one and extend it so one remains compatible but more likely they'll make an entirely new one and nothing will be compatible. (though they'll probably keep the now obsolete APIs around for a while to give devs a chance to transition over).

CygnusOrion said,
But Microsoft promises to never ditch WP8! Come on, stick with the team man!

When Windows RT and WP8 merge and / or when WP gets x86 support there will most probably another big shift and WP8 will get shafted in all probably.

Asmodai said,

I wouldn't be so sure. All this talk of a Unified App Platform (http://www.neowin.net/news/mic...cross-its-operating-systems) probably means the current ones are going to be obsolete again pretty soon.

Wp7 to WP8 was a generation jump. So even if they bring one successor to Windows RT and WP8 then WP8 devices could still receive the update (as well as RT tablets).

I love Windows Phone but if they leave WP8 users in the cold then I'm making a switch (not sure to what platform). I mean I'm still on WP7 but I'll probably upgrade before WP9 is out.

Dot Matrix said,

WinPhone7 was based off Windows CE, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, and now Xbox, all share the same core. The likely hood of Microsoft changing things for WP9 is next to null.

WP8, Windows 8, and Xbox share the same core but all the apps being developed for each is incompatible with all the other ones because MS made different APIs for each (just with a similar visual appearance). If they make a new Unified API (which is the prevailing rumor right now) that will either have to be an extension of one of the existing APIs or an entirely new one.

Best case scenario lets say they take RTs API and extend it to make the new unified API. They'd then push out an update to Xbone to support the new API and release WP9 with support for it (or just make phones run RT.) Now MAYBE they'll push that update back to WP8 but I suspect such an all-encompassing new API would quite large and it would suck up a lot of space on WP8 devices having two complete APIs on them (old WP8 for existing apps plus the new unified one). Even if they managed to do that the developers who made WP8 apps would be shafted again having to once again rewrite their apps in the new API because the WP8 API would be phased out. Likewise if they'd probably want to phase out the old Xbone API in favor of the new one as well so Xbone App devs would be screwed as well. Or they can leave two big APIs sitting on everyone's Xbone to maintain legacy support eating up drive space.

That's the best case scenario. If they make a entirely new unified API then it would have to be pushed out to all the devices and the existing APIs removed. Again they could load them both side by side for a version or two and MAYBE they'd back port it to older devices but I wouldn't hold my breath. In this case ALL current app devs would be shafted because they'd all have to rewrite their apps but it would allow for a cleaner design for the new API giving a more solid foundation to move forward on.

CygnusOrion said,
But Microsoft promises to never ditch WP8! Come on, stick with the team man!
Hey, they also made the same kind of promise to WP7 users. And now they are all left out in the cold. Wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens in Windows Phone 8 when they abandon the bleeding platform for something else.

Some users may still be locked into their 2yr contract with their mobile service provider under the impression from Microsoft that their device was a good investment and Microsoft based services (current and future) would be best experienced on it. I'm not bitter, honest.

Headline is kinda inverted - should read 'Microsoft will no longer update Skype app'

Another example of the 'beta testers' that are WP7 users being skewers over.

Do WP7 users really use the Skype app a lot? MS would be able to know things like this. A possibility is that maybe there just wasn't enough demand to keep it updated. WP7 has a fraction of the install base of WP8.

Windows phone was the solution to all of the problems with Android fragmentation we were told.

It's refreshing to know that my instinct that they were blowing it out their collective anuses was completely correct.

Microsoft is a huge company and WP7 users should still get Skype updates IMO. I've never owned a Windows Phone, but to not update a core app like Skype seems a bit sad to me.

Most WP7 phones didn't have front cameras either, so it was kind of pointless. As long as they're not discontinuing WP8 support or pulling it from the store it shouldn't matter. I can't imagine it is in need of any further updates. I don't understand why WP7 and WP8 need different apps, though, that's kind of ridiculous. It should just be one app with WP7 support built in. Unless they integrate Skype video calling with the built-in messaging app, which they haven't done, so I really don't know what the difference between the two versions really is.

Skype never really integrated into WP7 as it is now in WP8. It couldn't even run in the background. To support it when Microsoft doesn't offer WP7 handsets anymore is kinda iffy. Anyone still using WP7 handsets now, won't be before long. Their two years should just be about up here within the next six-eight months.

Commenting is disabled on this article.