RIP Skype 7, long live Skype 8

Microsoft has announced it is ending support for the version 7 of its Skype app, amid criticism of version 8.
1 October 2018

A new GUI and dropped features in version 8 saddened many Skype users. Source: Shutterstock

Microsoft has finally announced the death of its version 7 of Skype for desktop and mobile. The former will cease to be supported by 1st November, the latter two weeks later.

In an updated blog post, the company said: “We’re continuing to work on your most requested features”, mentioning two features set for a return, call recording and status changes, due in Skype 8’s next update.

In Skype’s UserVoice forum, the most popular request expresses many of the sentiments of Skype 8 users, albeit in a vernacular led more by irritation than concern over spelling accuracy:

“Bring back all the configuration/options possibilities we know from the classic skype version […] In the redesigned Skype client you limited the possibilities to adjust and configurate the Skype client. (options menue) […] I need to have the full access to all the adjustments to make Skype a usefull tool again.”

Some of the features which were lost in the upgrade from Skype 7 to version 8 included:

  • Cannot set Away status
  • Third-party call recorders stopped working
  • Cannot increase text size
  • Cannot jump back in chat history
  • Limits placed on customizations
  • No more multiple chat windows

In some cases, users reported losing their call credits when moving to the updated version. The graphical user interface, in general, was soundly criticised by users for being non-standard, non-intuitive and an obstacle that had to be surmounted in order just to make or receive a call.

Peter Skillman, head of design for Skype at Microsoft has in the past quoted GDPR as the reason for forcing the upgrade.

Those wishing to run Skype 7 can still do so, either as a standalone app or alongside Skype 8. At the time of writing, version 7 was still available for download from Microsoft.

However, the older app is still available from various repositories, such as FileHippo (PC / Mac), and OldVersion (PC / Mac).

Users of unsupported file systems (legacy Windows, Linux and so forth) can make use of the Skype for web service that Microsoft continues to support, available here.

Skype continues to be an integral business tool for many and has a loyal following among enterprise users who still value the standalone app paradigm.

Skype is one of the older mainstream communications platforms, which after creating some initial scares in its early years with reports of the software creating its own super-nodes in fast networks, was bought by Microsoft in 2011.

The application is a stalwart member of the business software quiver, despite ingress into its market by newer offerings like GoToMeeting, and Microsoft’s own Lync solution.