back to article Microsoft sprinkles a little Skype Meet Now integration on Windows 10 for Insiders

Microsoft has sneaked some extra Skype integration into Windows 10, coming hot on the heels of the inevitable fix for the final version of the October 2020 update. A lucky subset of Windows 10 Dev Channel Insiders last night got their hands on Microsoft's latest flailing swipe at Zoom with a Skype "Meet Now" icon in the …

  1. Khaptain

    What about Teams

    I thought that Skype was being replaced by Teams and that Teams was en route for becoming a consumer application.

    Or this just a case of throwing shit at the wall until something sticks...

    Disclaimer : I actually like Teams, it works pretty well, we use it on a daily basis, albeit only within the restricted environment of our company and a couple of outsiders..

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What about Teams

      >I thought that Skype was being replaced by Teams

      This is Microsoft so it will "replace" Skype except for the 20% of functionality they don't implement - forcing you to keep using Skype as well.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: What about Teams

      Communications team: "We've depricated Skype, long live Teams!"

      Windows team: "Erm, but we've just integrated Skype into Windows! DOH!"

      1. Unicornpiss
        Meh

        Re: What about Teams

        This is from the same company that had "Suggested Sites" pinned to the IE favorites bar by default... and then had the favorites bar hidden by default.

    3. hammarbtyp

      Re: What about Teams

      Since we had Teams, Skype for business has not been used, but it still sits there like an annoying need toddler saying use me, use me.

      Teams is superior in every way and i can't wait to get rid of it. From a personal point of view, pretty well everyone now uses Zoom

    4. Tim 11

      Re: What about Teams

      You should probably expect all the remaining products called Skype (I think there are 3 left - Skype UWP, Skype for desktop and Skype for business) all to be renamed "teams" pretty shortly, then the transformation will be complete.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about Teams

      Does Teams show who is online in the company, without having to message them first?

      1. Khaptain

        Re: What about Teams

        Does Teams show who is online in the company, without having to message them first?

        Yes, it does if they use Teams.

  2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Even microsoft don't know what happened to Skype. They changed what it is once too often and lost track.

  3. Steve Channell
    Facepalm

    How to kill a product with politics

    Skype started out as an offshoot from peer-to-peer file-sharing app that was widely used to pirate music: Adding voice calls made it impossible for music companies to detect that music was being shared rather than person to person communications, and therefore somewhat protected from prosecution. To the surprise of the developers the voice function was vastly more popular that the file sharing service putting pressure on the super-nodes that relayed traffic between computers that could not connect directly on local networks because of firewalls and NAT: they had a choice between grow and or die and found a willing buyer in ebay.

    Skype was fine for point-to-point connections, but video conferencing was not it forte, and suffered reliability problems scaling the super-nodes that were not designed for load balancing: Microsoft put quite a lot of investment into scaling the super-node infrastructure but dropped P2P in an attempt to get telco on-side for Windows Phone.

    After the Window-8 disaster it really became a retail brand for corporate Lync Server: it is somewhat ironic that a cloud native technology was pushed into the arms of office collaboration and kept away from Azure where its UDP datagram baggage could overload host routers.

    Until recently open-access videoconferencing was niche: Zoom did not defect Microsoft, AWS did by scaling the Zoom infrastructure, but politics was the real killer

    1. MatthewSt

      Re: How to kill a product with politics

      https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/09/skypes-secrets/2/ - there's less of an overlap with Kazaa, was a separate system from day 1 and just shared some design philosophies

  4. Blackjack Silver badge
    Meh

    So... the really really really big thing that killed Skype was that when it got into smartphones it was way too.late. WhatsApp killed Skype ages before Zoom did. Heck if it wasn't because of the forced integration with Windows 10 I wouldn't know it still exists.

    1. Dave K

      The other reason was that WhatsApp is so much simpler to use due to it effectively using your phone number as your ID. I did used to use Skype on my phone many years back, and it was always annoying trying to remember what the hell my username and password were for it (the desktop client back then hardly ever logged you out). WhatsApp in comparison just launches without any "signing in" required, and also means you don't need to sign back into it every time you reboot your phone in order to receive messages.

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Unhappy

      the really really really big thing that killed Skype

      Was that it got broken by MS:

      Netbooks suddenly going to near 100% CPU, that had worked when eBay owned it.

      Migration of login to MS Passport

      Removal of features.

      Dumbing down of text chat.

      Death of Linux Version.

      Some people even moved to QQ.

      It was dying long before Whatsapp was popular.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10, the old left over sherbet lemon in your glovebox that everythnig sticks to.

    Windows 10 is like rummaging around in your glovebox and finding a left over sherbet lemon without its wrapper. On closer examination, there's now so much crud attached to it, stuff you never knew was in there and there are still those tempted to remove the detritus, believing the sherbet lemon is still palatable.

    1. N2
      Pint

      Re: Windows 10, the old left over sherbet lemon in your glovebox that everythnig sticks to.

      Very good description, pint as its Friday!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Skype died when it became most useful

    I used to use Skype quite a lot (mainly one-to-one calls) and when it became ubiquitous on smartphones, even better as it didn't need a pre-arranged time for a call - it would ring on the phone just as a standard voice call (or a WhatsApp call does now). Would always prefer it to WhatsApp as I find Facebook even worse than Microsoft or Google for being untrustworthy - but most of my family have iPhones and FaceTime works even better.

    I set up group Skype calls at the start of lockdown for meetings with a local charity trustees - but migrated those over to Teams once I got an account set up. Skype suffered from connection problems for some folk, problems that disappeared once we moved to Teams. Having got familiar with Zoom for other gatherings in the last 6 months, my remaining use of Skype has moved over to Zoom.

    One major problem with Teams is that, whilst it's good for discussions within an organisation account, it is a pfaff to switch accounts (I have three I need to use - I've found it easier to run Teams on separate VMs in order to juggle). Also, I've found it clunky using Teams for a one-off call with a visitor; much easier to send a Zoom link...

  7. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    And for my next trick ...

    Skype fully integrated into Windows, operating as default app and an "intrinsic part of the operating syatem" so it's difficult to install a third part alternative. Let's all think like it's 1999 ...

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: And for my next trick ...

      Viber works on everything. Syncs tablets or Windows & Linux desktops to iOS or Android phones.

      Not owned by Facebook.

      Does video (inc multiway but only 1:1 on Linux), audio, phone out, file transfer, groups and text chat. Simple to install and use on tablets, desktop/laptop as long as you install on your phone first.

      Same people that just sold Overdrive and own Kobo, Japan's Rakuten.

      Skype became rubbish long before Facebook bought WhatsApp.

  8. MJI Silver badge

    Usual issue with phones now hitting PCs

    I want to use X Device wants to use Y

    So Device stops me using X until Y is up.

    I shut down Y and it gets restarted while X gives up resources for Y

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