Will Windows 11 be the beginning of the end for Skype?


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Microsoft recently announced its new upcoming operating system, Windows 11. This system will substitute the current version over the next few years and might not feature Skype.

Among all the new features that Windows 11 provides, two small but related features stand out.

Firstly, Microsoft Teams, the video-calling app which saw a boom during the 2020’s pandemic, will be combined into Windows 11 by default.

And secondly – Skype will not available in this new feature, for the first time in decades.

Therefore, it looks as if Teams is Microsoft’s new favourite child. Many analysts think this is the beginning of the end for what was once the king of calling apps.

But the harsh reality is that Skype has been losing importance for a long time.


About Skype

Microsoft took over Skype 10 years ago for $8.5 billion. At the time, it was the company’s biggest-ever acquisition and there were questions over whether it was over-paying.

But Microsoft was investing in an app that had hundreds and millions of users. It had been downloaded one billion times.

“Together we will create the future of real-time communications,” Microsoft chief Steve Balmer projected.

The firm’s plan seemed to work – the app became a part of every new computer. Therefore, its user numbers increased.

But by the middle of the decade, people started asking “why is Skype so bad?” and complaining about updates.

Countless pointed towards the poor performance and dubious design choices of the app.


Simultaneously, mobile messaging apps – such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger – gained more popularity.

Later on, these apps started to introduce video calls, one of Skype’s main attractions.

Skype was launched in 2003, and despite frequent updates, it was starting to show its age. Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams was based on more modern tech and was launched in 2017.

“Microsoft has been moving beyond Skype for several years now, with Teams being its strategic voice and video technology for the new era,” explained Angela Ashenden, an analyst at CCS Insight.


Popular Teams App

Initially, the Teams app was designed to compete with the business app Slack, as a work tool. But then the pandemic happened.

Zoom on the other hand became a household name overnight. And Microsoft Teams was among a few competitors ready to take it on.

“As Teams’ adoption skyrocketed in the last year, this really sealed Skype’s status as a legacy technology for Microsoft,” Ms Ashenden said.

That has only been reinforced by the launch of a personal version, which could directly compete with Skype.

With that kind of sudden success, it was “inevitable” that Teams would be the Windows default, she added.

“The removal of Skype as a pre-installed app helps reinforce Teams as the preferred solution from Microsoft’s perspective, emphasising that this is where its investment will be moving forward.”



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