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Microsoft Pulls Modern App To Give Skype the Right Touch

Microsoft's decision to scrap the modern version of Skype for PCs means, effective July 7, you'll need to settle for the desktop version of the popular voice, video and chat application. Many PC users probably won't have an issue with the move, announced last week, but it's yet another black eye for Microsoft's Modern app model, which many still call "Metro."

After July 7, if you click on the Modern app version of Skype, it'll automatically switch you to the desktop version.  For its part, Microsoft points out that PC users have said optimizing Skype for touch isn't a necessary part of their experience when using it.

"With the upcoming release of Windows 10 for PCs, it makes sense to use the Skype application optimized for mouse and keyboards use, capable of doing touch as well rather than two separate applications performing the same function," said Aga Guzik, Skype's head of desktop product marketing, in a blog post announcing the switch. Guzik said the move won't impact Microsoft's plans to offer Skype functionality within a specific app planned for Windows 10. "This way if you want to quickly make a call or send a message you can use task based apps and for those of you power users who like the advantages of the all in one app, you can pick what's right for you."

As Mary Jo Foley pointed out today in her All About Microsoft blog, "Microsoft's decision to kill off the Modern Skype client and move customers to the Desktop version seemed to fly in the face of what company officials have been telling developers and customers for the past several years," referring to its push toward Modern (aka Metro) apps.

Guzik told Foley that Universal phone, video and text apps based on Skype will be built into Windows 10 but they won't come with the initial version of the operating system that ships on July 29. Rather, Microsoft will release these three Skype-based Universal communications apps (chat, video and phone) in Windows 10.

Microsoft's focus around the Universal Windows Platform is built on the notion of a common code base for applications whether they run in desktop or touch modes. As such, perhaps this shift away from the Modern Skype app is indicative of Microsoft's plan to deemphasize the Windows 8 app model. Microsoft has said, though, that the modern Skype app would be available for Windows RT users. Windows RT systems can only run modern apps.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 06/15/2015 at 3:20 PM


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