Skype Gets Emergency Overhaul

 Skype Gets Emergency Overhaul
Microsoft is going back to basics with Skype in a bid to maintain its relevance.

(CCM) — Microsoft is abandoning many of the design changes and supplementary features that it introduced to Skype last year in what amounts to a major climb down for the company. It is dropping its Snapchat-like 'Highlights' feature, and making the telephony and messaging application simpler to use.

The design changes were unpopular when they were introduced, and the new features failed to interest users who saw Skype as a communications app. "Calling became harder to execute and Highlights didn’t resonate with a majority of users," Peter Skillman, Skype's director of design, admitted in a blog post. "We needed to take a step back and simplify!"

Microsoft will now focus Skype on its core features — voice and video calling, and messaging — while removing the redundant and underused features which have made the Skype interface cluttered and difficult to use.

On mobile devices the Skype apps will now feature three buttons at the bottom of the screen for Chat, Calls, and Contacts. The desktop app will have these three buttons in the top left of the window, "making it easy for long-time Skype users to understand," Skillman said.

Skype was a pioneer in the field of internet-based voice calling, but this redesign may be Microsoft's last opportunity to retain many of its users in the face of intense competition from simpler and more streamlined communications apps such as WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Messenger.

Image: © olegdudko –