Skype Classic is not being killed off…well, not just yet. In July, Microsoft announced Skype 8.0 was launching on the desktop, and that it would be shutting down version 7.0 (aka Skype Classic) as a result. The older version would no longer function after September 1, 2018, it had said. However, the company has now decided to hold off on Skype 7.0’s shutdown for the time being, following significant user backlash.
In a post published to its community forum, Microsoft announced that support for Skype Classic would be extended.
It reads, in full:
Based on customer feedback, we are extending support for Skype 7 (Skype classic) for some time. Our customers can continue to use Skype classic until then.
Thanks for all your comments – we are listening. We are working to bring all the features you’ve asked for into Skype 8.
Watch this space.
Beyond the post itself, Microsoft isn’t sharing any further information about the closure or its plans. So it’s unclear at this time when Skype Classic will be closed down for good. From the sounds of things, however, Microsoft’s goal is to bring the features users are demanding to Skype version 8.0 before ending support for version 7.0.
Some Skype Classic users were so upset about the impending shutdown, they even started a Change.org petition, which pleaded with Microsoft to “keep the desktop version of Skype alive for professional users!”
The petition stressed that the way pros used Skype is different from a mainstream audience – the one Microsoft is now seemingly trying to court with things like @mentions and emoji reactions, and a more colorful and youthful user interface.
Professional users were especially concerned about their ability to have multiple conversations happening at the same time across several windows; about losing an app that offers high information density; and about not having control over the application for customization purposes, for example.
There was also a bit of general backlash against the various visual changes, seemingly inspired by other social apps.
As the petition noted: “a professional user know what he needs and what he wants, so do not add, change or remove something unless there is a overwhelming [sic] demand for a change from the current user base.”
To what extent Microsoft will address the needs of this pro user base are unknown, but it seems that until it comes to some sort of decision on the matter, Skype Classic will remain.
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