Microsoft reveals final resting date of native Skype client as Skype-for-the-cloud marches forward with Windows 10 Mobile
Any die hard Windows Phone users stuck on devices that can’t be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile will lose support for Skype by ‘early 2017’, according to Microsoft.
While it was public knowledge that Microsoft was phasing out support for the client on Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1, Redmond has now given a clear date in an updated version of the Skype support page.
“While support will no longer be available from October 2016, the Skype app on Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 will continue to work (possibly with some limitations) until early 2017, when we finish moving Skype calling to the cloud (see Skype blog),” said Skype.
Instead, Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 users will have to use the web client if they want to use Skype. Of course, many users can choose to upgrade their devices to Windows 10 Mobile. But for those who can’t, a linchpin app will be lost.
Microsoft also announced that it will kill Skype clients for users of Android 4.02 or lower, and iOS 7 too. The shift comes as OS X and Linux users also lose support for the native Skype client.
To check if the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade is available for your Windows phone and install the upgrade, go to the Store, install the Upgrade Advisor app, run the app to see if the update is available, and then select Enable Windows 10 upgrade, advises Microsoft.
In May, Gartner said that almost 2.4 million Windows Phones were shipped in the last quarter, securing 0.7 percent of the worldwide market share overall. That’s down from 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2015.
Much of the plummeting can be attributed to Microsoft’s decision to not release any new Lumia devices, as the company gears up to sell the Lumia business to a Foxconn subsidiary for $350 million (£270m).