Microsoft is developing a universal Windows Skype app

If you're a Skype user like me and most of the TR staff, you may have noticed that its desktop application has been a little stuck in time. Microsoft is now looking to kill two birds with one API by developing a version of Skype that relies on the company's Universal Windows Platform. This shiny new app will be available to Windows Insiders in the "coming weeks."

The company says it's been listening to user feedback on Skype since last November, and found out that while users are fine with the "one task, one app" approach in the mobile space, they have different expectations as screen sizes increase. Multitasking comes into play, and users want to "limit app clutter." Microsoft is also taking the opportunity to touch up Skype's overall user interface. The overall look and feel has been simplified, and several global menus have been removed in favor of contextual menus. The updated user interface is now responsive, too—it should adjust itself to the device's screen size and resolution.

For now, Microsoft is letting Windows Insiders test-drive the application on PCs and large tablets. Windows 10 Mobile users get to join the party "soon." For more information, check out Microsoft's FAQ.

Comments closed
    • curtisb
    • 4 years ago

    From the screenshot there are a lot of similarities to the Skype for Business client (aka Lync). One of the main/major differences, though, is that message/video conf/call windows in the SfB client are in a separate window from the contacts list. The SfB client is (currently) a Win32 app, though. It also has the ability to connect consumer Skype contacts (as long as your company policy allows it), which is a really nice feature.

    • ultima_trev
    • 4 years ago

    O mighty Gods of Microsoft, infinite in wisdom and power.

    I loved Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
    I love Windows 10 despite the conspiracy theories about its evil uses for the telemetry mining.
    But UWP is severely flawed. Asides from the Netflix app, I use traditional desktop apps and that will never change.

    • mkk
    • 4 years ago

    To remember fondly the day back when, you were forced to use MSN.

    • ludi
    • 4 years ago

    Facebook Messenger? Is that you?

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 4 years ago

    Dead white space? Check
    Lack of gridlines to divide functional space? Check
    Cryptic Buttons? Check
    Several settings buttons/dropdowns that could have had their functions laid on out on screen in aforementioned dead white space? Check

    MS has gone Google on us.

      • odizzido
      • 4 years ago

      The reintroduction of cryptic symbols to represent functions is baffling. I mean I can understand devs not wanting to translate words but seriously having to click randomly to find what I want to do makes me want to barf…..on the devs.

      • rutra80
      • 4 years ago

      Well said. It’s such a pity that MS having established a matured empire of well designed GUI and applications, succumbs to solutions designed for blind morons.

    • DrCR
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]The company says it's been listening to user feedback[/quote<] Um, yeah, um hum, this is Microsoft, so we all know how totally believable that is. Seriously, this calls for, somehow, two purportedlies at least. 😉

    • Jambe
    • 4 years ago

    This is many years late by now; I haven’t willingly loaded Skype for a long time. I much prefer Slack apps for work voice/video and Discord for keeping up with my gaming friends.

    • NTMBK
    • 4 years ago

    I miss MSN Messenger. Still pissed they killed it for this.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 4 years ago

      Messenger was nice and simple and it was easy to message a lot of people. Skype just feels cluttered and unnecessary.

    • Deanjo
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]The company says it's been listening to users [s<]feedback[/s<] on Skype since last November,[/quote<] FTFY

    • odizzido
    • 4 years ago

    Skype is pretty terrible. Basic functions like copying text are a pain, it takes 120mb of ram to send hello to someone, the integration with hotmail is annoying as hell, and I am sure I could come up with a big list of skype problems and annoyances if I thought about it for 5mins.

    That being said, I can see it getting worse. MS has a terrible history of making garbage so I am neutral to this news ATM.

      • DancinJack
      • 4 years ago

      Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup. Not to mention the asinine way they store logs.

    • tsk
    • 4 years ago

    Been using skype since 2004, maybe it finally won’t be horrible.

    • auxy
    • 4 years ago

    [b<]No one wants this[/b<] ( ・∀・)

      • morphine
      • 4 years ago

      I think that everyone who uses Skype does. The old app is getting real old.

        • synthtel2
        • 4 years ago

        I think auxy’s problem isn’t with a new Skype, but that it uses UWP.

          • w76
          • 4 years ago

          I for one don’t care what platform or code it sits on top of, but what I don’t want is a mobile UI coming to a desktop program, like what they tried to do with Win8.

            • synthtel2
            • 4 years ago

            Mainly, UWP Skype would be very annoying to anyone on Win7. Also, if they continue to ignore Linux, we can’t get around that with Wine (at least for the moment).

            • localhostrulez
            • 4 years ago

            Also, I can’t say I like the idea of UWP apps being (mainly) limited to the store.

      • LostCat
      • 4 years ago

      I do. I’d recommend Skype to people if it actually had an app I wanted to use in the first place.

        • xeridea
        • 4 years ago

        Skype was good for its time, but has had virtually no feature updates in years. The only thing it has going for it is video and screen sharing. We switched to Slack at work, it is 100 times better. Simple things like quoting, good group and channel management, and easily referencing people make a huge difference. These simple things don’t exist, or are poorly implemented or clunky/ugly in Skype. It has integration’s with boatloads of other services. They just introduced voice calls and video will be coming soon.

        For personal uses, I just chat via Google. I do open Skype on occasion, but it is pretty rare.

          • LostCat
          • 4 years ago

          I just want basic person to person communication…and the Skype apps are all goofy as crap.

            • nanoflower
            • 4 years ago

            For basic video conferencing I’ve been hearing a number of people suggest Zoom as a good replacement for Skype.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      [url<]https://youtu.be/McAeQiLmEYU[/url<]

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 4 years ago

      Auxy, you’re breaking my heart.

      • Meadows
      • 4 years ago

      Actually, I’m not sure I care either way. I’d be fine with a UWP version of Skype as long as everything still works like I expect.

      • sweatshopking
      • 4 years ago

      I want it, and so do millions of people who are tired of windows registry problems, and confusing ass app management. Bring on the universal apps.

      • Sahrin
      • 4 years ago

      That’s how I feel about this post.

    • Redundant
    • 4 years ago

    We’ve used Skype’s SkypeIn for 8 years as a landline–cheap $5 / mo unlimited USA calling plus real cheap / minute rates international for my wife to call home to Brazil. Plus, we can take the “landline” anywhere in the world. While over the years we’ve gone from Skype Phones to skype apps on smart phones, we still make calls from a laptop via this Windows desktop application. It’s so poorly organized with the commonly used features being small, obscure, and difficult to find. Glad to hear they’re finally doing something with it–the sluggish smart phone app could sure use some work too though.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<] different expectations as screen sizes . [/quote<] Missing a word? edit: all-caps tags no worky

    • DancinJack
    • 4 years ago

    Not a big fan of Skype. It just hasn’t performed as well as other similar clients for me. I hope the “new” app might rectify some of that.

    • Theolendras
    • 4 years ago

    Sorry, but it’s about time, Microsoft is trying to promote it’s new Windows Store and API and app portability and decided to go back to a Win32. Nice way to promote and show confidence of your own product.

    I hope they will eventually improve performance of screen sharing, this could put Teamviewer and othersout of business, but at least there would be a nearly universal tool to do this job across multiple business segment (IT support guy here).

      • LASR
      • 4 years ago

      Microsoft pulls this every single time. You can be guaranteed there won’t be an Office on UWP anytime soon.

      Same thing happened on Windows Phone 7. All internal apps were native or DX apps – while MS was pushing Silverlight to 3rd party devs.

      How are you supposed to convince 3rd party developers that your new platform is worth it, if you can’t even convince your own?

      • ray890
      • 4 years ago

      Skype’s screensharing doesn’t even touch the surface of what Teamviewer is capable of doing.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This