Long ago, Skype was the undisputed king of voice and video communication across the internet, but with the rise of competing services from Facebook, Discord, and others, those times are gone.
Recently, Skype chased Snapchat with a much-derided redesign that focused on Snapchat-like disappearing messages. While Instagram has been extremely successful in appropriating the feature, Skype’s attempts were catastrophic, and simply served to overcomplicate and undermine the app’s core feature set. Skype responded by literally taking the app back to the drawing board, and prioritizing things users want, instead of things they think users might want. But with competing services growing day by day, the time of Skype’s reign could be coming to an end.
There’s a discussion taking place in our forums about this very topic, asking whether blame lies on Microsoft for the way Skype has been handled in recent years.
I think certainly some of the blame has to rest on Microsoft here. The company spent years needlessly attempting to integrate the service in places it wasn’t wanted, nor needed, while developing a litany of half-baked versions for different platforms. The ill-fated Windows 8 version was abandoned far before completion, and now the Windows 10 UWP version is dead too, replaced with an all-new version with missing features. Microsoft’s “one step forwards, one step backwards” approach to Skype has let smaller, more focused teams like Discord step in and innovate, rising to dominating positions that are already chomping into Skype’s user base.
How do you feel about Skype? Jump in the forum thread above and let us know.