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Microsoft

Skype For Windows Phone Will Stop Working in 2017 (betanews.com) 147

Mark Wilson, writing for BetaNews: With the release of Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft's support for Windows Phone is gradually starting to die off. We already knew that Windows Phone support for Skype was coming to an end, but now we know more. Microsoft has now announced that as well as ending support for Skype on Windows Phone in October, come 'early 2017' the apps will simply stop working. And it's all thanks to a move to the cloud. The company has already said that the future of Skype is cloud-based rather than peer-to-peer, and this is the reason Windows Phone support is coming to a complete stop. Considering the amount of investment Microsoft has put into Skype, the decision to kill the app entirely is perhaps a little strange, but legacy support -- particularly for such a niche handset -- does not come cheap.
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Skype For Windows Phone Will Stop Working in 2017

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13, 2016 @10:45PM (#52698401)

    Just stop working? If actually does that it will be the most stable behavior ever MS advised for a software.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      I was an early adopter, but have since stopped using Skype since it got too bloated.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Mindshare and control was what Microsoft paid for, not for the technology nor the app.

    • Re:Mindshare (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Saturday August 13, 2016 @10:53PM (#52698425)

      And if you supported Microsoft by buying Windows Phone, then Microsoft's message to you regarding your loyalty is clear.

      • "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master -- and if you use the program, he is your master."

      • Re: Mindshare (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

        Yeah, their statement is "please upgrade to the newer version of your phone OS. It will have been out for two years already by the time Skype stops working in the older OS. Oh, and if your telco isn't giving you updates to your phone OS then you can get the update direct from s."

        • This means a new phone too.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Shoten ( 260439 )

            This means a new phone too.

            And all of this is different from old iPhones, old Android phones, old Blackberry phones...how?

            I would grant that Apple actually does a decent job of supporting older hardware, especially as they build new features into IOS that rely upon the newer hardware. You can buy an iPhone 5s today, and it'll run the latest version (at this moment, 9.3.4) of IOS. Android...less so, but that's probably as much to blame on the (numerous and non-coordinated) hardware vendors as anyone else. But then again, aren't all

            • by nukenerd ( 172703 ) on Sunday August 14, 2016 @07:09AM (#52699243)

              And all of this is different from old iPhones, old Android phones, old Blackberry phones...how?

              Scrolling down, you are the first post to mention iPhones, Android phones, or Blackberry phones. Pay attention, this is a factual news item about Skype for Windows.

              • And all of this is different from old iPhones, old Android phones, old Blackberry phones...how?

                Scrolling down, you are the first post to mention iPhones, Android phones, or Blackberry phones. Pay attention, this is a factual news item about Skype for Windows.

                This is the very first time there has ever been topic drift on Slashdot! Thanks for pointing it out.

                • There really is only one gargantuan thread on Slashdot. We just subdivide into topics for accounting purposes.

            • Re: Mindshare (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Sunday August 14, 2016 @08:40AM (#52699463)

              And all of this is different from old iPhones, old Android phones, old Blackberry phones...how?

              I would grant that Apple actually does a decent job of supporting older hardware, especially as they build new features into IOS that rely upon the newer hardware. You can buy an iPhone 5s today, and it'll run the latest version (at this moment, 9.3.4) of IOS. Android...less so, but that's probably as much to blame on the (numerous and non-coordinated) hardware vendors as anyone else.

              This! I've had my iPhone 5 since 2011, and it's nowhere near obsolete, while many friends who don't buy that "overpriced Apple shit" are on their third Android phone since that time. They saved a little money each time - in their minds I guess. One likes to make jokes about how wealthy I must be to afford an iPhone.

              I'll use it until the battery craps out, I guess, and they'll save even more money on their 5th Android by that time.

              • Iphone 5 was released Sept. 21, 2012

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

                • And when the battery from my Samsung Galaxy Note II from the same era (five days more modern) stops working, I can buy a new battery.

                  • And when the battery from my Samsung Galaxy Note II from the same era (five days more modern) stops working, I can buy a new battery.

                    Because all average users do exactly that. Back in the days of feature phones I got new batteries and was laughed at by the same folks that continuously get new Androids. Just like their smartphones, they replaced their feature phones quite often.

                    For me, a phone is a device that needs to work, for texts and actually speaking to people. As computing devices they suck big time. They even suck at email. So I save my computing for actual computers. So as I say, I'll keep using mine until the battery goes de

                    • You are not an average user, most people change phone all the time, just as you said. I just pointed out that the possibility for having a phone for a long time is better on android (because of battery and memory cards mainly). If you can keep your battery for 7 years -- lucky you -- my 3 years old battery is not as good any more, and I plan to buy a new in the future.

                      It is not that it cannot be done on iphones, it is that it is *specifically* designed to be as hard as possible to do. This is getting quite

                    • I applaud you for not wasting the environment, but it is certainly not thanks to Apple. Credit where credit is due, and here it is to you. I also believe on average, iphone users keep their phones for a shorter time as they see their phones as fashion accessories (this is only a feeling of mine, I have no hard data supporting it).

                      In my experience, most people I know tend to use their iPhones into the ground, often ending up 3 or 4 generations behind. Except for the one guy who attends WWDC every year, and

                • Iphone 5 was released Sept. 21, 2012

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

                  Awp - My bad. I indeed got it in 2012, the year after I retired. All the other stuff is accurate.

              • I've had my iPhone 5 since 2011, and it's nowhere near obsolete, while many friends who don't buy that "overpriced Apple shit" are on their third Android phone since that time.

                Lots of people are still happily using a Droid 4, since it was the last Android slider on Verizon's network. While it's a few versions behind, it runs just about all the latest apps. The Droid 4 was released February 10, 2012. Your iPhone 5 was released later in September 21, 2012.

                I'm using a Photon Q for the same reason. It was rel

            • by paazin ( 719486 )

              Let's remember that Windows Phone 8.1...the newest version being discussed here...is 4 years old. It's from 2012.

              Actually, no it isn't. It was released July 2014 [wikipedia.org].

            • Apps are pointless. You don't need to keep getting more and more newer apps. The old ones work. And Android supports 4 year old phones. People keep them that long... Maybe not Windows Phones, but. I know someone running Windows Phone and he's disappointed at the lack of support.

          • No it doesn't need a new phone. Windows 10 mobile is just the next version of the OS that comes after 8.1

            • No it doesn't need a new phone. Windows 10 mobile is just the next version of the OS that comes after 8.1

              ... if your phone is included in the list of eligible phones. [microsoft.com] Otherwise, you are out of luck.

              • by Oakey ( 311319 )

                And as far as I can tell those are the 'newest' Win8.1 handsets. Bought that flagship Lumia 1020? Well fuck you!

        • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

          I would, but my current carrier (Sprint) isn't offering a Windows 10 Mobile phone right now. And even the models that support the frequencies aren't certified / enabled for Sprint even were I to get on unlocked. So, for now, I'm stuck with my Samsung ATIV S Neo (phone names suck) until I convince my wife we should switch carriers (but she really likes the price of unlimited data for a 5 phone family plan on Sprint).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "the future of Skype is cloud-based"

    So it's client-server based?

    • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Saturday August 13, 2016 @10:54PM (#52698433)

      No, it's in the cloud, duh! The place where magic happens. Lackluster apps turn into lackluster apps in the cloud, and stocks go up. Like a miracle. Or magnets.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Yes, but with a fuzzy and hard to pin down server. That will record and analyze all your conversations.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      No, you need to smoke something to use it, smoke clouds you know.

    • Re:Define "cloud" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Sunday August 14, 2016 @12:54AM (#52698633)

      "the future of Skype is cloud-based"
      So it's client-server based?

      Cloud is not a technical term. It describes no coherent system or network architecture.

      All cloud means is you should expect to be mercilessly stalked and monetized while the voice of darth vader plays in a continuous loop "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further".

      Everything advertised as "cloud based" works this way.

      • by rastos1 ( 601318 )

        Cloud is not a technical term. It describes no coherent system or network architecture.

        Of course it is a technical term and it does describe a very specific thing: It means "computer that belongs to someone else".

      • As far as I can understand, cloud-based is client-server except there's no way to run your own server - nor even can you use an alternate client.

    • "the future of Skype is cloud-based"

      So it's client-server based?

      All your conversations belong to Microsoft and the NSA.

    • by johanw ( 1001493 )

      Yes. The current system was too much work to eavesdrop.Fortunately Skype is not the only one doing voip anymore, and not even the most popular. I use it only for buisiness use, for personal contacts there is Signal and WhatsApp who have decent encryption.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      After they took over Skype, they started killing the app off in favor of their "own dog food". First they killed off Linux support, now "Skype for Business" on Office 365 accounts simply links to the (horrendously inferior) Lync, an offshoot/clone of the infamous MSN Messenger. So yeah, they're integrating the Skype business from a P2P into the Lync Server. In a few years you'll once again have a Microsoft Messenger and Skype will be fully assimilated.

  • I guess it makes sense as VoIP is available in nearly every chat program that exists nowadays. People like my dad will be upset as he's a big Skype fan. Yeah, it's an old person app.
  • Skype stops working frequently, already.
    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      Did you not download the latest update that was released like 2 weeks ago?

      • You mean 2 years old? The new one is still an alpha (and the skype website still offers the old one for Ubuntu)
      • by johanw ( 1001493 )

        The Android app is updated every week.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When they can tap the phone's microphone on demand, why continue supporting an app?

  • So, it'll run on Windows 10, including mobile, and I expect anybody that's on an older Windows Phone will be on a newer Windows 10 phone or something else by then.

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Saturday August 13, 2016 @11:34PM (#52698511)
    So you're saying a Microsoft product will stop behaving properly with previous versions and will require the ENTIRE installed base to either upgrade or fuck-off-and-die??? That's --- that's --- INCONCEIVABLE!!!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • But if it stops working on Android in the future, there's Hangouts that does video calling nicely. Apparently there is no Hangouts for Windows phone but one for iPhone. The fact that Microsoft is killing killing it's own apps for phone tells you something about the future of Windows Phone. It should just be removed from MS's portfolio.
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      If you go over to EFF [eff.org] you will get a good list of alternatives to Skype and how secure they are to use. Skype is ranking at the bottom.

      • If you go over to EFF [eff.org] you will get a good list of alternatives...

        ...which recommends WhatsApp. You might as well post the audio straight to FB.

        • by johanw ( 1001493 )

          No, in case you missed it: WhatsApp has end to end encryption now (also for voice calls), so FB can't eavesdrop. It has gotten some angry reactions from states over that, with Brasil the most prominent example. Unlike Skype.

  • yeahh... it almost solves many problems.. great
  • but legacy support -- particularly for such a niche handset -- does not come cheap

    Legacy support? Niche handset? I thought the Unified Windows Platform was the biggest and most popular development platform in the world. At least it was according to Microsoft.

    • by johanw ( 1001493 )

      That unified platform was introduced with windows 10 and they seem unwilling or unable to backport it to 8.1. Unless they change their plkans again of course: win phone 6, 7, 8, 8.1: all abandoned. Fool me once, blame on MS. Fool me twice, blame on me. Fool me 4 times: what kind of idiot you think I am?

      • Yeah, part of the problem here is that Microsoft's idiotic, asinine branding is (once again) biting them on the ass. "Skype for Windows Phone" has nothing to do with "Skype for Windows 10 Mobile", because the last version of "Windows Phone" is 8.1, and "Windows 10 Mobile" (no relation to the long-dead "Windows Mobile" family, whose last version was 6.5) is a new OS.

        If you upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, your Skype app will continue working just fine. Of course, initially every WP8.1 phone could upgrade (throu

  • Killing a popular app because it is too expensive for your niche (i.e. "me too" phone) product means good luck, niche.

    You serve no purpose.

    • The post submitter is confused / has no idea what e's talking about. They aren't "killing a popular app", they're end-of-life-ing the old version that runs on the outdated operating system. Skype for Windows 10 Mobile (to which one can upgrade from Windows Phone 8.1, unless your handset is quite old) is not the same thing as Skype for Windows Phone. Windows Phone is going the way of the Win9x family, and Microsoft is no longer going to support apps for it. This is not unreasonable, especially since the popu

  • Both of them replied, one said that he doesn't even know there's Skype for his phone 'cause he only uses the phone to make calls, the other one said that it's a mistake and he doesn't use the Windows Phone anymore.

  • ...when will it start working?
  • The headline here is very misleading, at least for anyone not heavily into Windows-based phones. "Windows Phone" actually refers to anything running 8.1 and earlier; they renamed it to Windows 10 Mobile with Windows 10. In Android terms, this would be a lot like complaining if Google were to stop supporting Hangouts on Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.x) or if Apple were to stop supporting whatever their equivalent is on iOS 6 (iPhone 3GS). Those companies do still support those devices, right?

    Because of this name change, the headline while technically accurate manages to imply that Microsoft is dropping Skype from all of the Microsoft mobile devices which isn't true. They're dropping support for it on devices that haven't been upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile, and while I haven't paid that much attention since the release, last year Microsoft was saying that they intended to have upgrades available on all devices running Windows Phone 8 and higher.

    So, if they followed through with that (or even just most of it), the people that will be affected should either A) Go ahead and install the damn update on your 2-year-old phone or B) Suck it up and go out and replace your 3+ year old phone.
    • Thanks for this. I have a Windows phone, but obviously didn't pay enough attention to what Microsoft were doing to realise "Windows Phone" and "Windows 10 Mobile" are different things. Guess I can hold off on worrying about switching platform for a little longer.
  • Just another reason never to buy a microsoft phone. I kind of feel sorry for them.

    • No, just shitting on users who insist on running obsolete software without upgrading. Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile are different operating systems. W10M is backward-compatible with WP apps, of course, but the reverse is not true; WP8.1 cannot run W10M apps such as the current version of Skype. They're keeping the old version around on life support to give people time to upgrade, that's all.

      Unfortunately, Microsoft branding sucks balls, and people like you with no incentive to get your facts straight

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