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Skype for Windows 10 and Skype for Desktop duke it out: Only Electron left standing

I just can't quit you, Skype. Oh maybe I can... they've tweaked the close function

Updated Hot on the heels of Teams getting personal comes a shake-up for Skype that will see Skype for Windows 10 and Skype for Desktop becoming one.

Put another way, it means Skype for Windows 10 ending up on the receiving end of a long-expected swing from the executioner's axe, in a manner of speaking.

Both apps will remain available, with the Windows 10-specific version now at 15 and Skype for Windows standing at 8.61. However, it appears that the former is now possessed of the guts of the latter and therefore an Electron app rather than the more UWP-friendly incarnation it used to be.

Naturally, this means features are being (temporarily) dropped – this is Microsoft after all. The Windows 10 app has lost its integration with the Share Charm and Outlook contacts. However, "to keep the consistent experience across the platforms" the gang has added toys such as the nine people in a video call feature, background replacement and improved close options to quit Skype or stop it from automatically starting.

The changes are rolling out gradually, and it might be a few days before all the Windows 10 versions in the wild have been culled in favour of the, er, new Windows 10 version. As such, users might have a little longer in which to remember the good times before the axe falls and Electron comes a-knocking.

While the two versions (one from the store and one from the Skype download site) continue to persist, the Skype gang is doubtless peering over its collective shoulder as Teams rumbles ever closer. Microsoft thundered this week that "Teams will become the messaging hub for all your personal chats and video and voice calls" without clarifying what that might mean for Skype.

Microsoft is keen to have Skype's be-suited sibling, Skype for Business, step aside for Teams in the not too distant future. With the fumbled transition from Classic Skype to something more modern and now the kerfuffle over the Windows 10 version, observers would be forgiven for wondering if a similar fate might be waiting for the consumer edition of Skype.

After all, the Teams desktop client was also developed on Electron. ®

Updated at 18:08 UTC on 28/06/20 to add

Microsoft told The Register: "We know a lot of people love Skype and we continue to invest in it. We will continue to gather and listen to customer feedback and offer different options for their needs."


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