Skype is one of the pioneers of VOIP and video calling over the internet. Although there are quite a whole lot of great things to be said about the service, one of the best is the wide range of devices that it supports. Many devices that are a few years old and do not support some of the new video calling/VOIP applications, still have Skype — or had.
Yes sir, Microsoft has made an announcement today that will not stick well with users who sport devices with operating systems preceeding iOS 8, Android 4.03, and Windows 10 Mobile. As per the announcement, users that have Windows Phone 8 or Android platforms released before 4.03, will no longer be liable to receive Skype updates.
As per a blog post by Skype,
The pace of change in our industry means that the devices and operating systems used by the majority of people shifts with time. Our commitment to deliver the best possible cross-platform experiences requires that we continually assess when it’s time to increase our focus on the platforms of the future. Sometimes this means that we must end support for some devices and operating systems.
What this means is that, users on these platforms will not be able to access to the latest versions of Skype. While they will still be able to use the platform — for now — the change means that eventually the applications on their devices will be rendered almost obsolete as Skype evolves everywhere else.
You can check our support site to find out which devices and operating systems Skype will support in the future, 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.
The changes were there for all to see and it was only a matter of time until the company dropped the bomb. Skype has been slowly but surely transitioning from a P2P service to the cloud over the past few years and some of the older platforms are simply unable to keep pace with the change. That said though, i fervently hope that the company doesn’t make a habit out of it and perhaps make a similar announcement for Windows in the future. I — along with a fair chunk of Windows platform users — still run Windows 7 and have no plans to upgrade it in the near future.
Meanwhile, transitioning to the cloud is important as well. Existing features like file sharing and video messaging have received a significant boost while a whole bunch of new features such as mobile group video calling, Skype Translator and Skype Bots have also been launched thanks to the move. The changes haven’t been completed yet — and the transition phase is causing plenty of problems for the users — but Microsoft hopes to get there in the coming months.
Which is also one of the major reasons behind cutting off support for the older platforms. By freeing up some resources, Skype hopes to focus its efforts on the devices and operating systems where the majority of its users lie and improve some of the most significant things such as call quality etc. The company is thus narrowing down on the quality of the services it provides and is discounting the loss in subscribers that may occur, as more and more users will eventually upgrade their devices to newer platforms.