Microsoft swings and misses with a terribly timed Windows 10 Skype update

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people around the world are starting to work from home, and many of them will be relying on the Skype video conferencing service – so it’s pretty awful timing from Microsoft to decide to mess around with the tool.

Currently, there are two different types of Skype app for Windows 10 – a traditional desktop app that’s downloaded from the Skype website, and a Microsoft Store app that comes pre-installed with Windows 10.

There are several differences between the two versions as well, with the Microsoft Store app featuring better integration in Windows 10. This means notifications, integration with other Windows 10 apps, and instant sign ins were all included, and along with it being installed by default, it made the Microsoft Store Skype app the best choice for beginners.

Sadly, Microsoft has seen fit to tweak that app, and as a Twitter user has pointed out, an early version of the new Skype app drops many of its best features.

Losing features

According to Twitter user Florian B, Microsoft “obliterated every good thing the [Microsoft Store Skype app] still had.” This includes removing People app integration, synchronizing with Outlook and no more automatic sign in.

The changes appear in the Skype Preview app in the Microsoft Store. This is an early version of the app designed for testing, so while many people won’t see the changes just yet, it does mean Microsoft is planning on introducing them in the future.

So, why has Microsoft made these changes? It seems like the company is keen to make the two different versions of Skype more similar, and while that’s an understandable goal, it appears that this may mean sacrificing a lot of the features that made people like the Microsoft Store app version of Skype.

Bad timing

Regardless of motives, the fact that Microsoft seems to be playing around with the Skype app right now, and looking to remove features people depend on, is rather bad timing, to put it mildly.

Many people around the world will be self-isolating, and will be using Skype to keep in contact with friends, family and colleagues. Now is not the time to start messing around with the app – and hopefully Microsoft understands this and doesn’t force these changes on people any time soon.

If you’re now working from home, check out our guide on all the best kit for working from home.

Via Neowin

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.