As you may already know, the Skype team at Microsoft somehow decided to discontinue the “modern” full-screen touch-friendly version of Skype for Windows 8 before any reasonable replacement was available. I received an email on June 16th, 2015 that said, “From 7 July, 2015 you’ll no longer be able to sign into the Skype for modern Windows app.” After July 7th, the modern app was supposed to forward you to a website where you can download the x86 desktop version of Skype. The big advantage here would be that Skype no longer would have to keep developing two versions of the app for the same Windows platform. The desktop version has always had more features, although many (such as Facebook chat and Facebook newsfeed integration) are also being removed. However, there are some major advantages to the “modern” Windows 8 version of Skype that we thought we would be losing on July 7th (Unless you have Windows RT in which case you get to keep them.)
Lock screen notifications
Low memory requirements
Pop-up toast notifications
Easy-to-use touch friendly interface
Granted, the Skype for Modern Windows app had a lot of other issues. You can’t see if someone’s status is set to Away, sending pictures usually doesn’t work, you can’t screen share, and you’re not likely to get your friends’ profile pictures to load, but still some of the features listed above are pretty nice to have! Now, come Windows 10, there is talk that Skype will be integrated with the Messaging, Video, and Calling apps. Those should all be of the “Universal”/”Modern” style which would support live tiles, low memory, and connected standby. However, those apps won’t even be available at the launch of Windows 10… AND of course Windows 10 won’t be launched until the end of this month; long after Skype was intending to shut it down. Hopefully Skype will do the smart thing and wait until there’s a suitable replacement for their Modern Windows app before pulling the plug.