Skype announced that it would end support for some Windows-based smartphones and older versions of Android.
Pre-Windows 10 smartphones, such as Windows version 8.0 and 8.1, and all Android devices with Android 4.02 or older, will no longer be supported by Skype as of October. Skype said that it was necessary to end support for these devices to focus on improving the user experience on other more heavily used platforms.
The company’s aim is to improve call quality, add new features and improve the overall performance and stability of its software on the devices that it continues to support. Some users negatively impacted by this end of support will be able to continue using Skype via the recently launched Skype for Web platform, but this may not be an option for certain older and slower devices.
As Microsoft owns Skype, this is a somewhat surprising move. Although it could be that the company simply feels confident in its web-based alternative for Windows smartphones, it could also signal that Microsoft is narrowing its focus in the mobile market. Microsoft recently laid off 1,350 employees from its Nokia division and another 500 from its in-house smartphone division this year.
If you need Skype on your smartphone, and it doesn’t support Windows 10, iOS or Android 4.03 or newer, you may have little choice but to upgrade to a new smartphone.
EDIT: July 21, 2016, 6:00 AM PST – Amended article to note that Skype still supports Windows 10.