Microsoft has announced that it is dropping Skype support for numerous devices, including those running its older smartphone operating systems.
Microsoft's Gurdeep Pall said today that Skype's transition "from peer-to-peer to a modern, mobile friendly cloud architecture" means that the company will be making changes to the devices and platforms that its messaging service supports.
"You can check our support site to find out which devices and operating systems Skype will support in the future," Pall said, "but as an example we will continue to support Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista, Yosemite on Mac, iOS 8 and Android 4.03 operating systems."
Significantly, he added [emphasis ours]:
Our focus will be on the newly released lighter, faster and more responsive UWP app for Windows 10, Skype for iPhone, iPad and Android as well as a web-based native version of Skype for other supported platforms like previous Windows operating Systems, Mac and Linux, which will benefit from the latest ORTC or WebRTC technology that we’ve been working on for the last year.
Notably, Pall doesn't mention Windows phones at all in his blog post, but the bold section of the excerpt above makes it clear why. Skype's future presence on Windows handsets will be limited only to those devices with Windows 10 Mobile, capable of running the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app that also runs on Microsoft's newest desktop OS.
That means that the company will, "over the coming months", be dropping Skype support for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1. Pall said that the company is "focusing our efforts on the devices and operating systems where the majority of our users are".
Given that around 90% of active Windows phone users aren't using Windows 10 Mobile, that explanation appears to make little sense at first glance. But the reality, of course, is that the number of Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 users is incredibly small compared to the 350 million Windows 10 devices out there.
For Microsoft, it's simply not efficient to continue investing in support for its older Windows Phone operating systems, when it can now support Windows 10 Mobile handsets as part of the same development efforts that go towards supporting Skype on Windows 10 desktops.
Of course, that will come as little comfort to those with older Windows handsets, who will soon find that they can no longer connect to one of Microsoft's core services.
Source: Skype Blogs
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