Last July, Microsoft announced plans to drop support for Skype on Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, along with several older versions of rival operating systems. A few weeks later, it further clarified that while it would end Skype support for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 - as well as for Windows RT - in October, the app would "continue to work (possibly with some limitations) until early 2017".
Today, Microsoft began notifying users of exactly when it plans to end support for those platforms, along with Skype for TV.
The email states that Microsoft will be "permanently retiring" Skype on all those platforms, as well as in the Messaging app on Windows 10 Mobile, on July 1, 2017. After that date, Microsoft said, "you will no longer be able to sign in to these versions of Skype." The link in the email directs users to this Skype support page.
Windows 10 Mobile users will still be able to use the communications service via the standalone Skype app, built on Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform. The UWP app officially exited its 'preview' phase in April, after having shipped as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update nine months earlier. On Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, Windows RT, and TVs that previously had Skype support, the only way that users will be able to connect to Skype after July 1 is via its web service, or by purchasing an alternative supported device.
Microsoft began work on switching Skype from peer-to-peer to a more modern cloud-based infrastructure four years ago. With the completion of that process earlier this year, Microsoft is now preparing to ditch the 'legacy' Skype apps that rely on its older architecture.
Last week, Microsoft announced the "next generation of Skype", including new-look apps that have been "rebuilt from the ground up". The new apps are launching first on Android, followed by iOS; they'll eventually head to Mac and Windows "over the next few months".