For years, I maintained a Skype number that’d forward to whatever phone number I happened to be using at the time. It was the only way to make myself reachable on the phone, despite my switching to a new mobile number every time I moved to a different region. It worked well enough—until last year when Microsoft redesigned the iOS version of their app to make it damn near unusable as a phone forwarding service. I hated Skype’s mobile makeover so much that I decided not to renew my annual plan with the service. If you want to find me, these days, it has to happen via Twitter or email. It seems that users of Microsoft’s desktop version of the app have all sorts of loathing for its recent redesign as well. According to The Verge, the backlash against version 8.0 of the app has been so widespread that it’s put Microsoft back on its heels.
From The Verge:
Last month, Microsoft announced it would be shutting down the desktop version of Skype 7.0, otherwise known as classic Skype, in September and transitioning users and businesses to the redesigned Skype 8.0. Following what the company describes as “customer feedback,” classic Skype will be sticking around for “some time” to “bring all the features you’ve asked for into Skype 8,” per Windows blog Thurrott. Skype 8 was first unveiled as a mobile redesign last year, inspired by trends set by Facebook and Snapchat, and it was widely disliked at the time as well.
The announcement was made by a Microsoft representative on the initial forum post announcing classic Skype’s discontinuation, which had filled with complaints from dedicated users and critics of the new direction of the product.
I think that this is great news—not because a bunch of people were voiced their outraged about a service they routinely used and kept it from getting messed with, but because Microsoft is listening to its users. When it comes down to it, they can do whatever they want with Skype. They own it. They can change it as they please. Instead of forcing users to use an interface that many have said they loathe, the tech behemoth opted to allow classic Skype to hang around, at least for the time being, until they can sort out a UI that people actually want to use.
Image via Wikipedia Commons