The Skype issue

When Microsoft announced that Skype will merge with the Messaging app on Windows 10 Mobile (and desktop) I had high hopes to see a great competitor to Apple's Facetime/Message, so we could have an easy way to make video calls and send messages between Windows devices without having to use the full Skype app.

This will not happen.

Earlier this year Microsoft announced that they will break the integration of Skype and the Messaging app, and bring a new UWP Skype app (which looks like the current desktop version, except for the Dark theme).

Now, we'll have to use Skype as we always did, by using it as another message app, along WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, and many others. It will become another third party app, having to compete on all levels, it will not be an easy task.

I really think Microsoft don't know what to do with Skype. It targets a lot of different users. Users that used it for work and video conf (and still use it that way), users that were forced to it after Microsoft closed MSN Messenger, and at last, user of Windows 10 devices that just had there Skype account created along their Microsoft Account. It seems to me impossible to have all these kinds of users using the same app. There is a need for a split.

First, Skype should stay Skype, a multi-platform messaging app, not specifically tied with a Microsoft account (but why not), that user can rely on to do chat, video call, all of what Skype already do. It will still compete with WhatsApp, Messenger, even Slack if they want to. Since the Skype team seems to do whatever they want, they can continue that way. They can continue adding more emoji before stabilizing their platform if they want, they took care of their own product. They can monetize it as they want. It sill stay the same as it was before the merge.

Second, Microsoft should start working on an integrated solution for Windows 10 devices. Yes, it will be another "Redmond, start your photocopier" situation again, but I think we need it. I'd really like to have an easy way to send messages (that are not SMS) to my contact that also have a Windows 10 device, so it will allow me to chat with them from my Desktop/Tablet computer, I'd really like to be able to switch from a call to a video call (or directly start a video call) without having my phone trying desperately to launch the "Skype" part of the Messaging app and crash right in the middle of it. It will also a lot more easier to explain everything to non tech users, everything is in the same app, installed on your phone by default, no need to add another app, it matches your phone address book, and not some weird mix of old Skype/Messenger contacts and address book contacts.

Finally, the most important part, these two apps needs to be totally separated and never merged! They have to different purpose, and targets two different sets of users.