Skype Classic on November 1. If you're a Skype user, you'll have to upgrade from Skype 7 to Skype 8 or stop using Skype.
What is Skype Classic?
Skype Classic is also known as Skype 7. It's the latest version of the traditional Windows desktop version of Skype that was first released fifteen years ago.
As this is a Windows desktop application with a decade and a half of history, it's packed with all sorts of powerful features and options. And, on November 1, 2018, it wants to stop working. Microsoft considers it outdated, legacy software.
Let's clarify: Microsoft has said it will start skilling Classic "in waves" starting on November 1. Not everyone wants to upgrade from Skype Classic to Skype 8 immediately. But, if you choose to upgrade, you will not have a choice. And, even if you dodge the initial wave on November 1, we expect to upgrade you within the few weeks after that.
What is Skype 8?
Skype 8 is the new version of Skype. On Windows 10, Skype 8 is included with Windows and comes from the Windows Store, making it a UWP application. On Windows 7, macOS, and Linux, Skype 8 is a normal downloadable application. You can even download the "desktop" version of Skype 8 on Windows 10 and have it installed side-by-side with the "Store" version of Skype 8 included with Windows 10, for some reason.
This version of Skype has been rebuilt from the ground up. It's "streamlined" and simple, with a new interface. Microsoft says it's missing many of the more powerful features found in Skype Classic.
If you're a Skype user, you'll have to leave Skype behind and switch to Skype 8 after November 1.
Microsoft has been trying to push Skype 7 users to Skype 8 for a while, so you may already be using Skype 8 unless you've declined the upgrade prompts. Skype Classic can no longer be downloaded from the official Skype download page.
What's the Problem With Skype 8?
Many vocal Skype Classic users are not happy about the change. Here are just a few features available in Skype 7, Skype 8:
- Skype Classic let you have multiple windows, so you could have multiple chat conversations open at once across your desktop, or have your contacts list in a separate window. Skype 8 limits you to a single window.
- Skype Classic lets you run two or more instances of Skype, making it easy to sign in and out of the same PC. Skype 8 does not let you do this.
- Skype 8 only lets you set your status as Available, Do Not Disturb, or Invisible. Skype Classic So let's set your status as Away, but that's gone.
- Many fewer options are available. For example, Skype Classic lets you enable or disable custom sound events and choose custom sound effects for them. Skype 8 just provides a single toggle to enable or disable all in-app sounds without customizing them.
- The version of Skype 8 included with Windows 10 can not read DirectShow device inputs, but only available on UWP apps. This broadband software (OBS), Xsplit, or Manycam to capture your screen and share it on Skype. Sure, Skype has built-in screen recording, but some people rely on the more advanced features in other applications. (You can download the "desktop" version of Skype 8 from Microsoft's website to get this feature.)
- You can not disable emoji, and Skype automatically expands them. So if you do, Skype will automatically convert "(drunk)" into a silly-looking animated face, as that's just one of Skype's emoji. It's wacky, and not something everyone wants in a chat client.
That's just a snapshot of missing features. Skype Classic is like Microsoft Office Word or Excel apps-they're old and packed with features. People have been using them for a long time, and everyone uses different ones. That's why Microsoft could not replace classic Word and Excel with new trimmed-down UWP apps.
Microsoft has added some powerful new features to Skype lately, like a built-in call recording feature.
We've seen some users say the new Skype does not work well, and some users have reported issues with notifications and messages not sending correctly. Look, I'll be honest-while I used to Skype, I dumped it years ago due to reliability problems, and I do not know how it works right now. It seemed to work fine when I tested it.
Why is Microsoft Killing Skype Classic Now?
Microsoft has tried to skype Classic before, but users complained , It's been a long road to get here. In 2015, Microsoft announced it was retiring the "modern" Skype application for Windows 8 and refocusing it on the same desktop application.
Back in July 2018, Microsoft announced that Skype Classic would stop working on September 1, and users Microsoft wants all Skype users to be on their new "modern" version of Skype.
After many vocal user complaints and even a Change.org petition, Microsoft gave Skype Classic a reprieve on August 31. Skype Skype 8.
Unfortunately, Microsoft set a new kill-date: November 1. On November 1, Skype Classic wants to stop working for real, and you ' If you want to keep using Skype.
Will Microsoft follow through this time? No one knows for sure, but we expect Microsoft wants to make good on its threat. Even if there's another delay, Skype Classic wants to be dead soon.
Switch to Skype 8 or Leave Skype Behind
Skype 8. If you want to keep using Skype, you will not have a choice, as Skype 7 wants to stop connecting to Microsoft's servers.
Let's be honest: For Skype users who only use Skype for calling and chatting, Skype 8 is probably fine. If you and your Skype contacts are not happy with Skype 8 for some reason, your only option will be switching to a competing chat application. Discord and Telegram are pretty popular, as is Facebook Messenger. There are mobile-centric applications like WhatsApp and Apple iMessage, too.
Here's one piece of good news: You can currently have both Skype 7 and Skype 8 installed on your Windows PC, so you still have some time to test Skype 8 and see if it's any useful feature you depend on. You do not have to wait for Microsoft's November 1st surprise.
Image Credit: Microsoft