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New Skype Update Is Horrible (microsoft.com)
499 points by Kaibeezy on July 3, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 316 comments

My worst Skype annoyance was when they seized your purchased credits if your account was left unused for 180 days. As a sporadic user of Skype when I needed to place an international call etc, having purchased credits reset automatically was such a provocation [0]. Every time I have to re-install Skype for some reason, there's always a new regression or dark UX pattern in use.

[0] https://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/01/14/skype-lawsuit-to-yie...

I had a similar experience: Microsoft deleted all my childhood email because I didn't log into hotmail frequently enough.

This included the emails I sent to my first love. And the ones she sent me. All gone. Because Microsoft wanted to save some tiny amount of space. I love Microsoft and an writing this on a Surface device now but Christ, that was awful and would make me think twice about using Microsoft online services.

PS. If anyone on HN somehow knows ways to recover the contents on deleted hotmail accounts then please let me know.

It doesn't end there. When you update to a new Windows, the old files from previous Windows installation (i.e. User documents etc.) are stored inside C:/Windows.old folder, and you have around 15 days to save your important file to some other location after which Windows will delete that folder without any notice.


What important things could you possibly have in C:/Windows?

Windows.old contains your User Folder which have these folders Documents, Downloads, Google Drive etc.

No, it doesn't, or darn well shouldn't.

XP put that data in \Documents and Settings\<user>. Vista and 7 put it in \Users\<user>, and some stuff in \ProgramData.

If you've got user downloads and documents in \Windows (and thus \Windows.old), you're doing something really strange.

You appear to be under the impression that windows.old is a based on the windows folder.

It's not.

Not sure why you're being downvoted. This is trivial to google https://www-howtogeek-com.cdn.ampproject.org/ii/w1200/s/www....

Those were moved to "c:\Documents and Settings" then c:\Users a long time ago.

That's exactly why I never keep any important files on system partition. I prefer to keep Windows all by itself on a separate partition, then I don't have to worry about it messing up my things.

While I'm sorry for your loss, the idea of a cloud-based email account that doesn't delete your emails is actually pretty damn new.

When Gmail launched one of its main features was the amount of storage space - people were used to having maybe 10MB of mailbox space. Companies competed over that number. It reflects that email was never seen as being permanent, you were expected to clear old emails out, and many services automatically deleted old emails.

Classically mail was always downloaded from the MTA to your local MUA (outlook, thunderbird etc).

You should think twice about storing anything in the cloud, especially if the service is "free." Always make your own backup of anything you care about.

Basically if it's local back it up to the cloud, and if it's only in the cloud back it up locally.

I'm likely channeling Jason Scott here, but this rhetoric is not helping. Yes of course people should back things up, but responding to "I just lost things of sentimental value to me" with "well you should've backed things up" doesn't come off as helpful advice.

Really, the problem is that online services (startups that are shutting down are the worst offenders[1]) are allowed to destroy user data with reckless abandon. You may argue "hey, it's their cloud" but it's also your data -- and that's kinda like arguing that a library that accepts book donations and then goes on to shreds book that nobody is borrowing anymore is justified in their actions.

[1]: https://ourincrediblejourney.tumblr.com/

I hate to be insensitive to people, but, it is important to point these things out when the message will hit hardest.

I remember, a long long time ago, someone I knew had just ripped his massive compact disc collection to his Windows computer, and, by default, they were in encrypted WMA format. He was very receptive to me pointing out how bad DRM was, because now he couldn't copy them to his other computers, and how Microsoft lied to him.


That's a very different scenario.

> that's kinda like arguing that a library that accepts book donations and then goes on to shreds book that nobody is borrowing anymore is justified in their actions.

You mean, all libraries?

Yeah, fair cop. My point was meant to be a library that shreds books without first attempting to sell them, give them away or otherwise archive them (which is what most libraries do before they resort to shredding books).

Not really, though. If you donate a book that cannot be made presentable with minimal effort, it will get scrapped, rather than be put up for sale or archived. There's only limited budget, and the discard bin costs less, by far, compared to staffing a book sale (even if it's once a year) or books take up space in "an archive" when another branch or library has the book in active circulation. Way more books get discarded than you might think.

It seems helpful to me. Microsoft is not a startup, there is no reason to assume they would just purge Hotmail accounts one day. Reminding people that corporations lose data, whether accidental or intentional, and that they should take individual responsibility for the data they consider significant, is important.

It probably doesn't help the parent feel much better about his situation, but it does help all the other readers to highlight and learn from his experience, and especially to emphasize that such adversarial action against user data is a significant risk at large, established companies as well as small ones.

My point was that "you should make backups" is useful advice. "You should've made backups" is not, because it places blame on the user for placing trust in someone else.

Sure, you and I know that effectively all "cloud" companies will resort to this sort of scummy bullshit, but let's not blame users who have lost data because a company decided to delete their data with reckless abandon.

> Really, the problem is that online services (startups that are shutting down are the worst offenders) are allowed to destroy user data with reckless abandon.

How much are you paying them, per month, to safeguard your data?

Respectfully, I don't think that's the right question to be asking. Yes, you're correct that since I haven't paid them they currently have no legal obligation to treat my data with respect (usually because I've agreed to non-binding EULA that is vague enough to allow for most abuses).

But look at it from a user's perspective. A small company shows up and says "hey, look at this great 'experience' you can get if you just give us some of your data". So the user gives them some of their data, and that overall builds the community around whatever the company is selling. Then one day the company decides to delete the user's data without warning (or without their acknowledgement or consent). The data itself had worth to the users, but more importantly it is the reason why the company has a community. The fact they didn't treat it with respect is an ethics problem. Just because users didn't pay you to act as a decent person doesn't mean you should treat their data as though it was worthless.

When Yahoo deleted GeoCities they managed to set the world record for the fastest destruction of the largest amount of user-created content. The entireity of GeoCities was several terabytes (in 2009 that was small enough to fit a few hundred dollars worth of hard-drives). Was Yahoo legally obligated to not delete 22 years worth of user content in a single afternoon? No. Were they complete and utter assholes for doing it? Absolutely. Was completely un-necessary? Yes.

Whatever their ads or user statstics pitched to VCs brings in.

I don't think the library comparison is close enough. More like you leave your cherished pet at the vet for the week and the vet decides to put it down because there are too many pets and their font 5 terms and conditions displayed on the wall allow them to do so.

Very similarly, my yahoo account was gone. That was a sad day, knowing I'll never get back to my old childhood emails.

>This included the emails I sent to my first love. And the ones she sent me. All gone. Because Microsoft wanted to save some tiny amount of space.

Always backup. Even if it wasn't stupid MS behavior, it could have been a server error.

Not "always backup" but "archive at the end of each year".

So if the service losses your data you lose ONE WHOLE YEAR of data?

No, thanks, always backup regularly -- in real time if possible (e.g. with Time Machine) and then secondary delayed backups (inc. remote locations).

It's a free service, it's part of the deal. If you want permanent storage, you pay.

And you STILL backup in two or more places.

There are other free services without president of doing stuff like that though. It's obviously always a risk with any service, free or not... but I have never lost an email using Gmail for the past 12-13 years, even on accounts I forgot about for 5+ years.

Just because somebody gives money to the poor in the street doesn't make those who don't bad people.

Plus, on the other hand, Gmail locked me out of several of my accounts for dubious security reasons. I lost my mails because of a suspicion behavior, which was me traveling or not giving them away my phone number. Lucky me I always have an IMAP client setup.

Unless you pay, you are the product. Don't blame them.

P.S: not saying this as a MS fanboy, as any peak on my comment history would let you see how much I blame this company for a lot of things. But this is business as usual. Plus, if emails are that important, you should have a backup.

I feel you. Same thing happened to me too. RIP those emails to my childhood friends.

I'm surprised by the amount of comments simply stating it's your own damn fault. It seems that for the OP, and for me, that this might have been the very first email that OP had. At a young age most probably. While it's not a given that emails are stored indefinitely for you online - MS didn't exactly warn or spell it out, that it at some point, at its discretion, would simply delete the emails.

I doubt that this was not explained in the TOS.

I'd expect this kind of complaint from non-technical people. Disappointed to see this on HN. You stored your data on someone else's computer and you are upset when the owner of that computer did something with it?

It is nonsense. I don't think there's a reason to do that except to scam users. Any UX-UI Dev / Engineer / Person with common sense knows that users would not understand the process. 180 days and my credit is disabled but I can reactivate it again anytime? what the hell?

What I'm not sure of is what happens if you buy credit without reactivating the inactive balance... Does it reactivate the inactive balance or not? If not... they are shameless.

My wild guess would be that their finance people do not like a monotonically increasing liability on the books. Since some users will never use their credits, this is their way of satisfying the bean counters.

That was my thought. But as far as the bean counters are concerned, they would base it on an aging schedule. Unused credits stop being counted at 100% after x number of months.

But there isn't really any reason to disable them in the software. Especially since they can be reenabled.

Just like if you have fully depreciated an office desk, that doesn't mean you march into that person's office and take it away. Sorry, this desk must be thrown out as it is now fully depreciated!

So I think it is an attempt at scraping more money out of their users.

"Sorry, this desk must be thrown out as it is now fully depreciated!"

This gave me a good laugh. With lowering interest rates and quantitative easing not pumping up the economy as expected, any bets on long before this becomes a reality?

It sounds silly, but these things happen! Just ask anyone who has worked in a Fortune-500 company for at least a few years. Things in good condition get replaced because there's a budget for replacing them, with asking the employees actually using those things (and sometimes despite asking and getting a response on the lines of "please don't touch my stuff, I like it the way it is").

Planned obsolescence is already a thing.

Wait till they apply this to people.

You're absolutely right, of course.

It's still weird because it puts off customers buying Skype credits in the first place, and getting credit from your customers is pretty great.

Same logic with gift cards. If I have 50 real dollars that never expire, why would the $50 card you spend it on expire?

The marketing that has convinced us gift cards are appropriate while cash / cheques are not is impressive.

Here in Canada gift cards do not expire (IIRC there is a law against it). Is this not the case elsewhere?

I know myself and many other people prefer gift cards because it forces you to buy something for yourself instead of just adding it to the savings account. It shows slightly more thought than just hard cash as well.

They don't expire in California either, but they can in other states.

Having had this happen to me (and not realize it until later), I can say that purhasing new credits keeps your old credits in pergatory.

They neither remind you that "hey, you have credits, dont purchase more!" and they happily spend your new credits to hope none the wiser.

I imagine this was all for doing some creative accounting to pump up their books.

I never used Skype again after they stole my credit (about 9€). No excuse when they could have emailed or otherwise told me it was going to expire, I only found out when I needed to use it...

It's actually worse than that. They seize your credits if you don't make a call (or text) that uses the credits in six months... it doesn't matter if you've been on skype or not.

It's not really seized, just deactivated, and you can reactivate it any time. I don't know why either, I'm guessing for legal/accounting purposes, like at one point Apple had to charge people for iPod updates: https://arstechnica.com/apple/2009/09/accounting-rules-chang...

Wow, I never knew that was the reason why Apple used to charge for the updates. Thanks for the link.

That's the reason I switch to google hangouts for my international calls. Just open the browser and make the call.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be left behind as the only tech company that didn't release a Snapchat clone. ;)

It also works in countries where Skype is banned / blocked by the government in my experience.

I did this for a while. But the average mobile Internet I have in switzerland is so bad that the quality suffers a lot. As much as I hate it, it still works well with whatsapp

I'm not sure if things have changed since your experience, but the last time I exceeded the 180 days of inactivity, my credits were removed from the Skype client and a link appeared in their place, telling me to "reactivate" my credits on the website.

I went to the website and clicked a link and my credits showed in the Skype client again.

As stated in the link, they replaced their expiration policy with a reactivation policy as a result of the class action lawsuit. The last time this happened to my account I was sent a link which allowed me to reactivate the credits.

I just found out mine deactivated in April and I didn't get an email about it. In the iOS app it just showed £0 and suggested I top up.

When following the link through this page I was able to reactivate it:


You are lucky you could even get in. At some point ~2yrs ago, all my Skype logins stopped working. Resetting them took me into some maze of a process where i'd end up in loops going between legacy Skype logins to Microsoft email based logins and back.

No matter what I did, I could not reset the password and just gave up. I redirect all conferences to GChat/Facetime. It was almost like a hiring brain-teaser. I guess I'm not going to be hired at Microsoft.

Thanks for the info. I rarely had need of Skype credits and it would make me mad when they disappeared. Now I know how to get them back. It doesn't seem like it would be worth the PR hit to take them from people after only 180 days and, if there was some strange accounting/legal reason they really wanted to inactivate them, they should display a small a link under your $0 balance to go to the re-activate page.

I always love going on vacation, unexpectedly having to use my Skype Credits to call somewhere only to discover they've expired.

Don't you just need to send yourself a text whenever the reminder mail arrives? That's what I've been doing for years.

When can we talk about facetime? They don't even have group chat. I've been waiting for it a long time ago.

Unused credit is considered abandoned property after 6 months, depending on the state. Each state has different regulations. This is a massive pain to deal with, so most places have to work around it.

Source: I used to work at an online bank where we'd close the account after 6 months of inactivity.

Microsoft have driven Skype into the ground. How they can release something this childish and terrible, yet also have the "Skype for Business" brand I don't understand.

If this had been released as "Skype for Fun" or "Skype for Kids" I'd almost understand. But trying to force users into this hideous mess is very frustrating, Skype was a dependable, if bloated app. Now I fear getting messages via it, it's so horrible.

Nothing will happen though. We're all upset, but Microsoft isn't going to roll back an upgrade/decision of this magnitude.

Both my employer (120,000 employees) and our main contractor (20,000 employees) use Skype for Business. By use, I mean we've purchased it and deployed it to every employee in the world.

It's never worked, ever, for anything. Not for audio, not for screen sharing, not for chat. I now decline all meeting requests that rely on Skype for Business for some essential part of the meeting.

Worked for company that was bought by MS. During the acquisition period, I was working for 3rd level enterprise support and were main contact for escalation of issues from our OS X users and MS. And yes, it never worked. Higher up guys where patting themselves on the backs for migrating to Lync and now it was So Well Executed while we in the actual client interface where left to deal with abysmal (platinum) support, private hotfixes, fixes what worked at one release and didn't on newer ones and all sorts of crazyness.

The "reason" that was said to be the issue was "our internal routing between the sites" and Yeah, pretty much every issue we had never manifested it worker was at home and used home connection or used cellphone client and gsm operator for data.

But yeah, fuck Lync. Worst gig ever. One reason why I think rebranding Lync to Skype for Business made sense: let's fool someone to buy it by letting them think they where getting same tech as real Skype, not just same shit with different name.

Except in my experience in an organisation forced to transition from Lync to Skype for Business, Lync always worked fairly well (although we only used chat and voice calls), and Skype for Business was wobbly and unreliable. Even though they were theoretically the same product, somewhere in the rebranding they managed to mess up the network behaviour too.

Skype used to be pretty solid, years ago. These days it's just dodgy as heck and moving Lync to be Skype-branded was one of the more baffling decisions I've seen from Microsoft marketing, because none of us thought Skype had any pedigree worth trying to exploit anymore.

We are a 40 person organisation and use S4B via our Office365 subscription. It works perfectly.

That said, being in Australia we don't have Microsoft-provided telephony in it, nor do we have any requirement for hunt groups and so forth. All our staff use their mobiles to talk, so Skype is purely used for teleconferences and video chats.

Enterprise telephony is a weird space right now - Microsoft ought to emerge the winner eventually with their broader stack proposition, especially when compared with most other vendors that try to stick in their bloatware or poorly written software. But gee it is a painful and slow transition to observe from the sidelines.

Just my 2c. :)

Serious question - what is so compelling about S4B. Competition is very healthy in that space, last time I looked at Lync etc it was seriously lacking.

It's just the convenience that is compelling. If you already use Office365 the integration with outlook for web (and desktop for that matter, which I rarely use) is really neat and for the most part "just works".

I've got some seriously non technical people in the business who find it super easy to now arrange a conference call, when previously they would be using their iPhone on speakerphone to merge calls.

It seems to me that half of Microsoft is a rotten mess. Some parts know how to make good software for sure. The other half makes really bad decisions and keep rolling out patches that barely should've passed QA.

That's about right I think. Or in some cases, half of a product will be good (MSSQL engine), whereas the UI (SSMS) is a bug ridden mess (despite being head and shoulders above most other products).

I had a different experience. When we had a project with a team from another country we tried to use Skype. One person couldn't get it to work, so we tried a lot of other software just to have a video call and share the screen.

None of them worked flawlessly, some required to install some software to be able to run inside a browser? The audio on the others didn't work good. The others had bad video quality and massive lag/delay on the screensharing.

We switched back to Skype For Business/Skype (w/ personal account) and it was the best experience for us (except for that one guy :D), also very reliable!

Skype for Business is also quite nice, and doesn't have any bloat. Just call and message.

There was a discussion back here on HN, why nobody has written some good software just to call a client and share your screen. If you have millions of $, why is it so difficult to make a reliable app? I guess you can't get a lot of revenue on free calling software.

A lot of the time we just call the clients landline and use TeamViewer for screensharing. It's like we're still living in 2001...

Audio works well for us, for 1 to 1 conversations anyway. I haven't tried but apparently it's not so good at n to n. Screen sharing did work well until the latest update, now it hardly ever works and we have to use webex.

Chat is it's own mixed bag. Sometimes there is noticeable lag, you will get a popup showing you received the message but it will take several more seconds to show in the chat window. Very occasionally a message will take minutes to arrive or not at all. Copying and pasting is always a nightmare.

I wish ICQ would take their client from the late 90's and make a business version.

The connection issues seem to be company related. I’ve used it in companies where it always worked, and others where it would error out with a 50/50 chance with no discernable cause.

But Skype for Business (ahem, Lync) also has some fun, enterprisey restrictions that make no sense at all:

- You can’t send messages longer than a few sentences (stacktrace, code snippet are “too long”). - You can’t send messages to offline contacts and have them receive it when they go back online. The message just disappears.

My employer (84,000 employees) uses Skype for Business. Audio, screen sharing and chat work reasonably well (with the occasional "Megan has to restart his client before joining" or "Jack cannot unmute himself for some reason"). However, any meeting with more than 40-50 participants leads to unacceptable general instability of the connection, so we need to use Adobe Connect for this. (The only reason why I still can't purge Flash from my work notebook.)

I actually have very good experience with SFB in my org. For meetings it's the best app I've used. But for persistent group chat it seems to be worthless. We're trying out stuff like Rocketchat and mattermost instead.

I use audio calls, video calls or screen sharing almost every day.

It works flawlessly and I despise every company that doesn't have Linq/Skype.

skype for business is by far the worst piece of software I've used in the past 5 years

things randomly don't work (e.g. video in groups, picture whiteboards in groups), there's an inability to turn off highlights in group messages, and my machine locks up when a voice call comes in (because the skype client is using 4gb of RAM and windows has swapped it out)

only the MS group chat software comes close to being that awful, that feels like an intern's first C# app

The worst part about "Skype for business" is that it replaced Lync, which was much better IMO. It was simple but effective, and I don't remember having any kind of problem with it

Skype for Business IS Lync, mildly rebranded. The executable is even called lync.exe...

Except it now looks and works crap now. I'm still on the old Lync client at my office even though many people have "upgraded" to skype for business. At some point my hand will be forced and I will be annoyed.

At least copy and paste is more sane in Skype for business than Lync

We're all upset, but Microsoft isn't going to roll back an upgrade/decision of this magnitude.

Not unless there is sufficient opposition --- and by "sufficient", I mean almost everyone refusing to upgrade or suddenly moving to an alternative.

Flashy dumbed-down UIs seem to be the "modern" trend now. I hope it starts going back in the other direction, but sadly I doubt that will happen...

I can't recall any software company who rolled back an upgrade. UI upgrades take a lot of resources and overhaul, they're also UX-tested, involve marketing ops, etc: If they haven't got the message before, companies prefer to risk dying than cancelling their attempt to pivot.

Look at Ubuntu's Unity. Apple's emoji bar. Microsoft's Windows 8.1 tiles.

Ubuntu is moving back to the Gnome shell, I think. So sometimes companies do get the message. (Although I personally like Unity, so the change is going to be a bit annoying.)

But not because people want them to go back. They are going back because Ubuntu is investing less and less into desktop and consumer products and more into enterprises.

I consider Windows 10 to represent a significant step back from the Windows 8 UI ideas on Microsoft's part. Windows 10 makes a genuine effort to come to a system which can adapt for touch and non-touch UIs, rather than just using the former all the time.

Two of these three examples were completely or partially rolled back.

Microsoft wants to be Oracle instead of Oracle (as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iznogoud used to put it), and will not be deterred.

I have witnessed Skype to go from almost perfect video & chat communicator to absolute crap over almost 10 years, and I feel very sad that it has come to rip off Snapchat. There is no alternative like the old Skype now in the desktop.

It really is astonishing. I remember using Skype around 2004/05 on a horribly crappy Dell laptop and it (Skype) worked flawlessly. It sort of boggles the mind how far in to the ground it has been driven.

That would be when it was done by the Swedish founders, written in Pascal, by people who cared about users more than press releases.

It's like an artist who doesn't know when to stop painting.

It's more like a mediocre artist buying a great painting made by a master and the decides to "improve" it by adding more and more paint.

The software monkey christ

I think Skype was the first app that would allow to talk for free across the globe even on poor (modem) connections.

Not even close. Just off the top of my head, Roger Wilco is 5 years older, and TeamSpeak is also older than Skype.

In terms of mass adoption, with regard to Skype, is what I imagine he meant. Anyway, it was certainly true for me. I had to make a lot of calls to less developed parts of the world then, and it worked reasonably well.

I have high hopes for Discord video, which is coming out soon. Knowing the discord team and seeing the quality of the voice product, I'm finally going to be able to replace god-awful Google Hangouts.

Have you tried appear.in? It's become my go-to video conference. No logins, just make up an arbitrary link (ie appear.in/some-random-string) and voila. So far it's been more reliable than hangouts.

(I have nothing to do with them other than wondering why everyone doesn't use it)

I use it regularly, it's great.

I hope Discord Video uses less resources than Camfrog. If they can, then I'd finally switch to Discord, assuming Discord can handle many hundreds of video streams at once like Camfrog can.

Me too, the only thing missing from Discord apart from video for me is its spell checking...

What's god-awful about Hangouts, and does the new Hangouts Meet make things better?


Hangouts is a good piece of tech and the has a great UX with minimal UI. The only issues with hangouts are that:

1. It is a resource hog. Laptops spit fire when they run hangouts for more than 10 minutes 2. It can be buggy and unreliable. Almost every 3rd hangout meeting, someone on my team is unable to hear others or is unable to use the mic. Fix can range anything between restarting the computer to killing audio processes.

In my experience, it is much less reliable on OS X than Linux.

If they manage to make it reliable and reduce resource usage, it'll be the perfect video conference app.

Also, it doesn't currently work on firefox which is a pain.

Great UX? Are we using the same product? It’s not intuitive at all, you don’t know what an icon does until you click it. Text labels would be nice. Then they seem to alter it every few months so “where is the screen share” becomes a common question. Good UI should be instantly clear to even a new user – it shouldn’t require hovering or guessing.

Google Hangouts has serious UI problems. People can't find the chat even when it's pointed out to them. Chat should be more prominent.

At the moment, it's easier to send people to a Slack channel to chat during a Hangout than to use Hangout's chat.

Yeah, we use Hangouts for daily standups with all of our teams, so we do multi-way calls for several hours every day (mostly macOS actually, but some Windows), and it's consistently reliable for us. We migrated from Skype, which would always become flaky if there were more than four people on a call.

It really is good, at least on Chrome, but I worry that Google will let it stagnate.

Not to mention that it supports XMPP for person to person, but group chats no longer work, forcing me to use the browser client despite myriad XMPP clients existing. I understand that it's not XMPP expressly, but that was a feature that used to work on GChat that was removed for seemingly no reason.

Try sending an SMS via Hangouts (desktop), or searching past messages. The background pictures are nice and all, but that's not great UX.

are they trying to use the cheap built in mics/ A proper usb headset or even better an external sound card with a real mic e.g. a Shure SM58 the cheap entry level shures are also v good (bit more body noise though)

Using Safari for Hangouts on OS X does help with the resource usage some.

Why would anyone at this point go with Google's solutions for voice/video? Last time someone over at Arstechnica did a count they had 4 or 5 competing and largely incompatible solutions - they are NOT a serious player when it comes to producing, and perhaps more importantly - maintaining, a Skype replacement/alternative.

Almost as if Google internally use IM clients are proof of concept implementations...

> What's god-awful about Hangouts

Basically everything. It used to be the main communication tool of the Ingress community (precursor of Pokemon Go) due to it's integration with the game but 95% of all players have moved to Telegram because HO is a horribly broken piece of tech which becomes worse and worse after each update.

A running gag in the Ingress community was that the HO is to Google what Australia was to the U.K., e.g. if you did something stupid while working at Google you would be sent to work with the HO team as punishment.

Besides the fact that Hangouts doesn't work at all half the time (on the web or in-app), the other half of the time the quality and stability are so poor that video is just avoided completely.

That there is a new product using the same damaged brand inspires zero confidence. It's ridiculous to have all these separate apps that don't seem to be cohesive at all. For instance, nobody I know who travels even knows that Hangouts Dialer exists, even though it's incredibly useful while abroad.

Pretty much every product that Google makes is crap, or there is always a better alternative, or the product is virtually invisible, and most updates seem to be making each product harder to use or more unstable. They're not intuitive, features have no useful help reference in the app, and bugs are everywhere.

The worst so far was the new web UI for Google Voice. It doesn't show the most current messages. I've filed a half dozen bug reports for months with no feedback or fixes.

We're a shrinking bunch (sadly) but if you care about being able to use Firefox, Hangouts feels like Google's attempt to kill it. They apparently can't figure out WebRTC in Firefox.

Embrace-and-extend on WebRTC meaning that, despite 2 years notice when Firefox removed NSAPI plugin support, they still need a further 6 months to restore standards compatibility. That’s pretty god-awful.

Haven't used Meet, wouldn't know how as it's the first time I have heard of it.

As for what's awful about it, where to start? Slow, hard to join, doesn't play well with multiple Google accounts, bugs and crashes with screen sharing, ...

Possibly, complete lack of any desktop software?

Can't default to video off in calls.

WeChat, while excellent on iOS, is also a lifesaver on the desktop given that they provide true native apps for Mac and Windows (no Electron!) Video/voice calls, file sharing, group chat, stickers, everything is there, but the performance alone makes this more usable over other chat apps today.

It seems that over the years, their PM team is more confident (capable?) in keeping a good balance between core chat usability and all the "extras", perhaps because they are not playing catch-up in the market.

Does WeChat offer any thing over LINE? I ended up uninstalling WeChat because it was using up 20% of my daily battery despite only opening up the app once every couple weeks.

If you know anyone from China, it has everyone there on it. Otherwise, I don't know of any huge differences. Maybe more free stickers?

How do you get this fabled native WeChat desktop application? As far as I can tell, it's an Electron app. It sucks up tons of resources on my computers.

The version I have is from the Mac App Store

I'll start using it again. I might have been mixing up my memories of the web app.

Yep, previously they had a web app only (not even Electron, just a website). The MAS version came after that. We use it heavily day-to-day.

The closest thing to Skype is Tox.

But I hope for the return of XMPP. While the client development stagnated for the most part over the last years, there are a few which seem to catch up with the innovation of the last years (conversations, chat secure).

The problem with XMPP seems to be that it is stuck in extension hell. There is simply too many XEPs bouncing around.

The last great hope was back when both Facebook and Google used it, and you could connect one to the other.

Since then both have gone proprietary, and dragged their user base with them.

And Hangouts/Allo/whatever-it-is-this-week still doesn't work. Google Talk actually worked :(

There has to be a good desktop alternative or at least a good browser based alternative. Perhaps with WebRTC the best alternatives are now browser based, maybe discord or riot.im?

It is sad though that basically the only desktop based chat/voice/video communications app listed at alternativeto.net[1] is LinPhone which in theory is a drop in replacement for skype, but in practice it is not =.=

[1] http://alternativeto.net/software/skype/

Wire offers end to end encrypted and open source video calling (and audio calling, and chat, and file sharing). Even the server is open source, which is getting quite rare these days.

Wire.com -- I'm not affiliated, just a big fan. They're very new and need more publicity in my opinion.

discord is pretty good

The inability to use a different ID for different servers pretty much precludes professional use. I don't want to use my handle at work, I don't want to use my real name in random internet communities.

Does anyone know of of a calling site or calling software that works with mac 10.6.8? Even all the conference calling sites have abandoned support. I agree with the comment that backwards compatibility was and should be part of whatever utopian dream this internet world used to/could be.

It's absolute crap like this which is why I have turned off automatic updates in Google Play. What a terrible feeling it is to merely open an app and, out of seemingly nowhere, a seemingly different app opens up and you can't go back. There's security and all that, but literally screw security if big corps are going to remotely fiddle with my device and turn me into a beta tester.

How do you take the original king of VoIP and easily make it the worst experience? Sweet Jeebus.

This is probably going to be a problem that next-generation lawmakers have to solve: how to force entities to distinguish between different types of changes, and be liable for sticking to that set.

Just like it’s ridiculous to let installers run as root without a sandbox, it should be considered ridiculous that we can’t constrain updaters: I should be able to say “bug fixes only” or whatever, and see only that happen. Instead, it’s UI-of-the-week.

A straightforward way to ensure this would be to have substantial limits on size. It is pretty hard to redo an entire UI if you’re restricted to a 100K update, for example. And it would help to prevent data plans from being sucked up by careless app vendors.

Wait. You actually think that individual consumers should be able to, essentially, construct their own unique snowflake version of an app which only fixes bugs but retains the UI (and god knows what other code) from an arbitrary previous version?

Look, I don't like some of these stupid updates either, but that idea is completely unworkable.

The GP does have a point, which is that force-feeding a crippled UX to users of a paid application should be considered a tort. EULAs that permit such behavior are comparable to allowing car dealers to sneak into our garages in the dead of night and downgrade the cars we buy from them. Such a contract would be treated as unconscionable and tossed unceremoniously out of court.

Either allow people to install older versions of the app, or as suggested, find a way to uncouple presentation from functionality. That's no more or less "unworkable" than any other engineering problem.

I wish I had the downvote feature just for your comment.

Unworkable? Are you kidding? It's absolutely brilliant. It's exactly what I want.

Give me a feature set. Give me a separate UI which interacts with that feature set. Let me pick and choose both of them, completely separately. That's what an API is supposed to be and do.

I actually don't disagree with you that it's brilliant. Nor that it would be desirable.

But it's still unworkable, like I said.

> I wish I had the downvote feature just for your comment.


a) I know this isn't reddit, but it would go against reddiquette to downvote a comment you disagree with. You donwvote comments that don't bring anything to a discussion, which your suggestion doesn't.

b) You installed a piece of software of your own volition. If you don't want updates to your software of a certain kind then choose another software whose developers are contractually obliged not to change it. Or write your own. But don't push your ideas on us.

With 10 toggleable features you add 1023 additional app configurations. This quickly becomes incredibly difficult to maintain and test.

Picking and choosing a feature set for most applications sits in the completely infeasible plane.

Oh boo hoo. Back before this automatic update crap you could at the least keep your old versions. Maybe if we returned to building our applications so they didn't require super-expensive bullshit cloud infrastructure you wouldn't have to worry so much about the maintenance burden of 10 oh-so-scary toggle features. Design like this is the Fischer-Pricing of software, infantilizing users for a little more blood to sacrifice to the petty, vengeful god of costs.

Yes Skype is a comms app that supposedly "requires" cloud infra spend but... wait... they had a decentralized peer-to-peer communication system years ago but decided to move away from it. It was a poor choice if not to further their control over the product, so they could better force their crap on us when all we wanted was to send texts and make calls.

Then don't use it?

I don't see why we need to get laws involved. Also, it sounds like you're chomping at the bit to pull one over on Microsoft. Sure. Maybe you feel wronged by what Skype has become.

But how would that affect every other operation that's smaller than Microsoft that doesn't have the resources to make -- and I'm not even sure what was described -- some sort of pick-and-choose UI/API adventure.

Just doesn't seem like a coherent reaction. Can you actually pitch a solution that sounds reasonable for everyone instead of just corporations?

> Picking and choosing a feature set for most applications sits in the completely infeasible plane.

I find it rather interesting that there have been tons of applications that have, historically, had optional features. Many of them work quite well.

We're not talking about an API. We're talking about an entire app. That kind of thing is unworkable, especially for small teams. You're exponentially increasing the number of combinations that have to be tested together. "Well, for that issue, they've got bugfixes #2562, 6834, and 3945, but they're still on UI Tweak #201."

Use well designed, minimalist, open source software then. No need to write a law.

Are you arguing that backend/frontend isn't a valid abstraction? For web apps, UI is never anything more than a suggestion. It's not unworkable for the web.

I don't know why MS acquired Skype. It seems like they never really knew what to do with it, so now they try to make it "cool".

Because there was a big business in providing a spying interface onto Skype users?

The sad thing is that this exact Skype headline could have appeared at any point within the last several years. It seems every change that they make is just more and more ill-conceived.

The best thing they could have done years ago would have been to open-source it and let it evolve naturally.

I have to agree. Every version of Skype since 4 has been an exercise in a appalling design choices, in particular on the Mac. Whereas it used to occupy a tiny window listing contacts Skype 5 switched to a large obnoxious screen filling mess. Here is an excellent summary of the mess that is Skype:


Much the same on Windows. You used to be able to undock the chat part and have just the contact list showing until you actually started a chat or a call.

You can still do that to the best of my knowledge.

I'm fine with it being closed source. It just needs to be 1000x simpler.

After Microsoft bought Skype, it went downhill. The Linux version became even more buggy. The Android version didn't work well.

So I started telling people that "I don't use Skype" and to call me on Google Hangouts or my cell phone instead. Slack's free plan also offers voice calls. If you need a phone number that forwards to you, Twilio offers that service at a much better price than Skype.

Abandoning Skype over the past few years hasn't been a problem at all.

I might have a complete misunderstanding of the situation, but I see three main explanations:

1) Microsoft has absolutely no interest in Skype being a viable option, and wants Skype users to adopt some other Microsoft product. Why doesn't Microsoft tell Skype users "Well, Skype is done, just use MSN."

2) People responsible for Skype are optimizing for some metrics, which is opposite to user satisfaction. What is that metric?

3) People responsible for Skype have no idea what they're doing, get no input from community, don't see how people are mad about these particular UI changes, and misunderstand how people use Skype... In which case, why are they still in charge?

"Why doesn't Microsoft tell Skype users "Well, Skype is done, just use MSN." I'm not aware of anything else they have now that could be supposed to replace it?

They already did this the other way around. They closed MSN Messenger in 2013, and told everyone to just use Skype. Skype WAS supposed to the their main messaging app now.

You forget that they replaced Skype with an MSN service while doing this.

So in reality you might as well say they "reskinned" Office messenger, called Lync (which I believe started as a version of MSN messenger long ago) and then put out an "update" for Skype that replaced it with Lync, with the banners, window titles, website names, etc, replaced with "skype". That's what happened.

Skype certainly is meant to be their main messaging app now. It's their only messaging app now.

The trouble is, they also don't ever seem to have done anything to make it better, and the ongoing saga of native Windows 8 and now Windows 10 Skype clients is face-palmingly awful.

Flagship chat system on flagship platform doesn't even work right... what hope for Android and iOS?

Good reasoning! As pointed out eg in https://twitter.com/reactnative/status/832648387220484097 the new Android/iOS Skype is not a native app but react-native. That means it’s not really an update but a complete rewrite. The metric they optimize for is cost, they want to use the same JS code on all platforms. Of course explanation 3 is valid too.

2) and 3) The metric is internal company bullshit. The opinion of one "manager" has more weight than opinions of millions of customers. A dysfunctional organization such as Microsoft does not have a way to limit the damages caused by obsolete aspects of human nature such as unconditional loyalty to the leader of the local group.

Skype has become horrible long ago when original team sold it. I remember Skype when its binary was several megabytes and there was no Facebook inside.

And now it became slow (at least on Windows XP) and buggy - for example I have no notifications sound anymore and it is unable to accept incoming calls. Judging by interface lagginess they have put at least several modern Javascript frameworks inside. And maybe something to work with immutable values judging by memory consumption.

Every proprietary messenger ends up like Skype sooner or later.

Are you still using XP? If yes, can I ask why?

Yes, because it uses less resources than newer OSes. Windows 7 for me has no advantages over Windows XP but works slower. The only good thing in Windows 7 is search field integrated into main menu.

I guess I will have to upgrade either to Windows 7 or to Debian (if it won't work too slow) because many applications including browsers don't work on XP anymore.

Err Windows 7 has the advantage of not being incredibly insecure, which I would definitely consider a major advantage, probably the most important one for an OS...

Windows 10 is pretty resource efficient. There's even a stripped back 'long term support one' which is incredibly lightweight. Anyway, RAM is incredibly cheap now, I don't think you should be risking getting totally pwned for the sake of an investment in a few GB of ram.

You should really update fast. Windows XP have massive vulnerabilities. It's very risky to use XP every day.

Seriously, skype is not a social media platform, so stop trying to make it one Microsoft! Skype is a standard video/voice chat/conferencing that has found its place in everywhere from gaming to professional meetings, so what you’re doing here is diluting your target market.

It's not their target market. They don't care about Skype. That's clear. They bought it to eliminate it as a competitor.

Or use the name for marketing purposes, Skype did actually work while Lync has always been pos. Maybe things have improved since but I have my doubts.

Competitor to what?

You could totally remove "New" and "Update" from that sentence and it would still be a very true statement.

* Full disclosure: my co. was acquired and forced to use office suite.

What are better alternatives in terms of call quality? Hangouts is pretty bad and WhatsApp is awful in my experience. Despite the bloat and the UI Skype is still the only good experience I had.

> What are better alternatives in terms of call quality?

What I'll call "automatic transmission" VoIP solutions are all very similar in terms of quality. That said, there are absolutely things you can do to improve VoIP call quality and reliability: https://book.pod.guru/voip-secrets/

Beyond typical consumer/business VoIP, there are professional solutions like Source-Connect Now and ipDTL. They support selectable bitrates that go beyond what popular consumer/business solutions typically support, with commensurably better quality.

For highest quality, the solution is a "multi-ender". In a multi-ender, audio is recorded uncompressed (or losslessly compressed) at every end, then merged/sync'd after the call for a result that can sound as if everyone was in the same room. WebRTC-powered services like Zencastr, Ringr, Cast and Cleanfeed can help automate multi-enders.

I'm working in remote Zambia at the moment, in a place which only has a poor satellite connection and WhatsApp has been the only service which allows me to friends and family outside of the country.

I live the UK and have been spoiled with high speed internet. I have been working on around 50kB/s download speed and WhatsApp really shines. Skype sometimes works well, with a much more noticeable delay.

Coming somewhere like this really makes me appreciate small webpage sizes. Hacker News loads much, much quicker than just about any other site I regularly use. Granted it's known for it's light bandwidth size... I've been finding myself slimming my projects down considerably, which a really nice side effect of being somewhere with terrible internet for some time.

I find Signal video calls to be extremely stable, clear and with a very very good quality.

Too bad they don't have a desktop client :/

Well, they do [1], but you are correct in that they currently do not support calls on their desktop client.

[1]: https://github.com/WhisperSystems/Signal-Desktop

You are right, but I really can't get myself to call a chrome extension "desktop client".

Slack team chat

It fails to work with Firefox


Best part about Zoom and similar programs is that you don't have to deal with the horrible Skype search feature for everyone in the call before starting it. Why can't people find me by my username? Who knows. Why don't I see people online even though I know they are already, forcing both of us to message each other before we can start a call? Who knows.

With Zoom and other conference programs, callers just join the call (after they've downloaded the program which admittedly is an initial pain point).

Zoom has a web client these days that I find rather decent.

Telegram voice chat is very good.

Slack has a good call quality from my experience.

I beg to differ. Really doesn't work well in low bandwidth networks.

Google hangouts does a pretty solid job reconnecting (even after switching off a VPN during a call).

Question: does Skype for Business (nee Lync) mirror these same UX changes as Skype makes them, or does it do its own thing?

Because I'm guessing this is just Microsoft further differentiating their product categories: today's Skype is for consumers (ala Facebook Messenger), so it gets "cute" features at the expense of the ability to use it for productivity; while Skype for Business continues to be about efficient collaboration and productivity (ala Slack) at the expense of "fun."

The real thing that's upsetting people, I think, is that before Skype for Business existed, Skype was for both use-cases, so a lot of people used "Skype" to get things done and were satisfied with it, and it has since evolved into a product that's not for them. The product that serves those people's needs now is Skype for Business, not Skype.

Skype for Business (a.k.a. Lync), AFAICT, still has absolutely nothing in common whatsoever with Skype. Except for the name.

Skype for business in my experience has a much worse call quality even though the ui is somewhat more business oriented

The Business one still looks like MSN Messenger of old, give or take. Unfortunately it has a host of it's own small, annoying bugs. The first chat message of the day routinely appears above yesterday's messages so you don't see it. Emailed "missed conversations" have timestamps that are 8 hours out so you wonder why someone was talking to you in the middle of the night and it turns out it was 10 minutes ago. All of these seem to have been reported to Microsoft, who have ignored or wilfully misunderstood them.

My workplace recently(~a year ago) switched to Skype for Business. We were using Microsoft communicator before this. Skype came in with Office 365 update.

I like that it integrates well with Outlook. You can do something like create a meeting invite from within the calendar in Outlook. Then when meeting reminder pops up it will automatically contain a link the invitee can click on to join meeting remotely via Skype things like that make teleconferencing etc dead easy.

There are some other pretty nice features like being able to see someones Skype status from outlook when you read email. i.e so you know if they are at their desk or working remotely etc.

It is also simple to do things like sharing a screen, we use this feature a lot for remote meetings. There are a heap of non technical people in my org and screen sharing was always a huge pain point in the past.

I haven't noticed the issue with timestamps but no one in my org really uses the messaging/chat features everything here has traditionally been email based so I've never seen many missed conversation messages. The only thing conversations are used for are quick fire stuff like "Are you coming for lunch?" and even then 90% of people still use email or phone for this.

One horrible bug I have noticed is Skype will email me when I have a new voice mail and it uses some horrible speech to text conversion to describe what is in the message which results in what is essentially nonsense.

Bad voice mail auto translation have become a kind of office meme around here with people sharing the funniest ones etc. I do not think their speech to text understands Australian accents at all...

Aaah the "Missed Conversation" things.

I only get those for conversations I didn't miss. Apparently if I don't have the last word, I missed it.

Fortunately my company uses Slack almost 100% for internal business.

Not on the iPhone (which needs a good bug fixing rev) so far. The desktop version is not auto-updating, so I couldn't tell you.

What could I switch to (on both Mac and PC) that would give me better video chat functionality?

Edit: Just to clarify, here's what I'm looking for:

1. Free plan; available everywhere in the world (I have family outside the US).

2. Both Mac and PC clients that are actually good.

3. Video chat quality (including noise filtering and such) that matches or exceeds what Skype can do.

4. IM-like client that supports text, voice, and video chat. This disqualifies business-type solutions that are geared around groups pre-scheduling meetings. I just want to see who's online and send them an IM or video chat request.

I've used https://meet.jit.si/ for quite some time now... nothing to install, no flash, only needs a plugin if you want to screen-share, works on all platforms.

They were bought by Atlassian recently and they used it to replace the HipChat video/audio chat function.

I'm not sure yet whether you can also use it with the jitsi desktop clients (https://jitsi.org/) seamlessly, but it'd make sense :)

Just saw some news that they also enabled calling into meet.jit.si conferences by phone (https://jitsi.org/news/telephony-support-on-meet-jit-si/) so that's also a bonus point if you liked Skype.

For the open source decentralised option: the Riot.im Matrix client (disclaimer, i work on it)

I couldn't live without it. Plus there is an IRC bridge which is ideal to keep up with and participate in open source projects in Freenode.

I like the UI of Amazon Chime: https://chime.aws/

Though it is business focused.

1. There is a free plan, but limited.

2. Android, iPhone, Mac, and PC clients that work well.

Occasional notification syncing issues. That's about the worse of it.

3. I don't know; I haven't used Skype in years. Better than Lync and Polycom.

4. Yep.

Signal, Join.me, FaceTime, et cetera. I no longer accept invitations to communicate via Skype.

FaceTime is Mac only. Join.me seems geared towards business users and pre-arranged meetings -- I want something more like an IM client where I can see who's online and ask to video chat with them. Also, join.me doesn't seem to have a free plan (only a free trial.)

Signal actually looks great, but their Mac/PC client has been in beta since 2015 and isn't linked from the homepage -- I had to dig it up on their blog. Also, video chat has been in beta since March 2017. It's not clear if their beta non-phone client supports the beta video chat. Still, I'm digging their encryption.

I don't mean to shit over your suggestions, I really am looking for something better. But so far, nothing seems like a clear winner.

> Also, video chat has been in beta since March 2017.

Video chat actually came out of beta in March [0]. The beta was released in February.

[0] https://whispersystems.org/blog/signal-video-calls/

appear.in has worked fine with me too.

Yup. Great for home but doesn't work on some networks because it's WebRTC.

zoom.us is what we use at Trello with 100+ people at times.

I can second that zoom.us is a very good alternative ... it's not really a chat application but for multiuser confcalls or video calls it's miles ahead of the competition like gotomeetings or skype.

Hangouts is not bad at all.

For one-on-one interactions, I haven't found anything better than FaceTime on Macs.

viber is great, is popular in Europe, I dont know why more Americans dont use it.

Whatsapp and FB Messenger are popular in Europe. Viber used to be but it is the number one messenger only in a few eastern countries now https://www.similarweb.com/blog/popular-messaging-apps-by-co...

I personally don't know anybody using it past early 2016. It's all Whatsapp, Messenger, Telegram (but many people don't know what it is) and Skype on the desktop. Snapchat among the kids.

it's also owned by FSB

What are you talking about? It's owned by Rakuten, a Japanese company.

I usually use Facebook Messenger Video Call when talking to my parents. It works okay most of the time.

I've used Jitsi a few times without issue, but not sure about mobile clients.

Camfrog (minus noise filtering) does all of that, and has Mac and PC clients.

FaceTime, if you're on mac.

You and everyone you want to chat with.

Use FaceTime when you can. A lot of people have iPhones and many these days now have Macs.

>A lot of people have iPhones and many these days now have Macs.

Not really here in Germany. iOS has about 20% of the market, Android the other 80%.

macOS is at about 8%.

Anecdotally, even discounting that I have neither, of the 20 or so people I'd realistically want to chat with (friends and family), two have iPhones and one has a mac.

Plus: What happens when they switch? Or when I want to switch?

Also, I don't really want to use multiple applications.

Well, you can also use FaceTime with iPads.

In the US, many people have the iPhones and iPads. For professionals worldwide at least in developed countries, it makes sense to use iPhones which are far, far more secure than Android platforms, especially when taking into account total cost of ownership, the monthly fee for cell service on a high quality network.

In professional settings, the Mac is becoming a more popular platform, IBM is converting many Thinkpads over to Macs.

Many in Europe, even the young, smoke cigarettes which are very costly with the taxes. I'd suggest for both health reasons and using money for better purposes to quit smoking cigarettes and use the money for iPhones (and Macs).

A pack of Marlboros in Germany is about $8 per pack according to Wikipedia.

My daily cost for being on the Verizon (top cell provider, esp in NYC) network and having Verizon yearly upgrade for latest iPhone is $5 per day. Upgrading to latest MacBook 15" Pro from recent model is about $2 to $3 per day.

The Macs, iPhones, and iPads play much better together as an ecosystem.

Video chat and IP telephony apps seem like some kind of software lemon market. There's some kind of perverse incentive operating here. Even ones that start out nice inevitably degrade over time.

FaceTime used to be nice if you were all Apple, but when they removed P2P it went to crap. The performance got terrible.

Lately I've been using appear.in, which works if you have a webrtc browser or you use the app. It works decently well.

I don't know. FaceTime is my go to choice for video calls, and I use it almost daily. I wouldn't say the performance is terrible, and it doesn't spin up my MBP's fans like Google Hangouts does in the browser.

Hangouts is another one that's gotten awful.

it's almost impressive how skype manages to become unidirectionally worse and worse over time

Disclaimer: I'm 24. I'm into tech. I am on instagram 24/7. Snapchat less and less.

This update actually made me open skype and talk to people. Skype became terrible, but this update interested me and now I'm actually using it for first time in months. The design is pretty straightforward and satisfying. Could be better, but this is a huge improvement over what they had. Don't know why they put in stories tho.

> Don't know why they put in stories tho.

That's the problem man! You wanted an app to talk to your friends. Now you got some kind of snapchat clone.

Satisfying UI? That’s not the problem here

So it is not just us Linux users which will be hit by a horrible Skype upgrade? I run the by now ancient (they never bothered to port Skype 5.0 an later to Linux) which they will kill off by the end of the month in a favor for their half-assed beta client which is still missing many of the features which Skype 4.3 had.

I gave up with the native clients earlier this year when I could no longer get any to run and log me in. I now use https://github.com/stanfieldr/ghetto-skype Yeah it's Electron web-shit and it doesn't work with video calls (but there are enough low-friction alternatives now like Hangouts I can insist on should a skype friend really want to video chat) but at least it's no worse than their browser interface and won't just stop working. And I don't have to worry about the potential of some RCE in their really old native binary.

I really just want them to de-unify MSN Messenger (those contacts who don't get on Matrix or anything else are the only reason I still use skype) and let me use Pidgin/Emesene again but that's way up there in the pipe dream clouds of never happening.

There is a plugin which adds Skype support to Pidgin which I have yet to try. https://github.com/EionRobb/skype4pidgin/tree/master/skypewe...

I tried it once and it didn't work, didn't realize they had a flow chart though. Maybe I'll try it again in the future. But the other potential issue is that I login with my old MSN credentials (in the native app there used to be a separate 'login with Microsoft account' screen) so that might screw things up too.

I use Pidgin to chat with other people at my work who are on Skype For Business (Lync). Works decently.

I just got forced to update on iOS. OMFGJMOAP, it is a horror. I use it to make calls from Europe to the US and elsewhere, and it has worked great for that, but now it's all about chit-chat and colorfulness, bleh. What's a good option?

This title could come from any year between 2005 and now. Skype has only ever gotten worse.

It seems like every Skype update leads to more frustration and (somehow) more bugs. Yet another product Microsoft has managed to mess up :(

Using Skype for business communication and I think this update is awful. The new tabs do not make any sense to me - "Highlights"? "Capture"? I cannot see if someone is online from the contact list anymore. Swiping back to close a chat hardly works, most of the time it opens the "Find" tab - where I can find things I don't need. The call screen is confusing (what is difference between "Microphone" and "Headset" anyway?).

Skype does not feel like a serious communication tool anymore.

I genuinely thought my phone had been hacked or something when I saw this update. Appalling.

I can't believe they are working on this garbage instead of making it as reliable as slack. Ridiculous.

The worst part is that google hangout doest seem to work well anymore, the plugin crashes, etc.

Not sure about you, but the call quality has gone to shit the last 2 years. At least it seems like it to me.

MS is confusing me now. They do a brilliant job of fixing up Visual Studio for 2017 so that it installs quickly and efficiently. But their consumer products which they acquire and mutilate (Skype, Wunderlist) just mystify me. They take great products and make them awful when these products should be major contributors to their war chest to solidify their hold on business.

Microsoft is a big company. They do not ship consistent quality across all teams. Some products are kind of great.

Some are absolutely awful and it perplexes me to no end how people and organisations are so willing to throw money at those products. It's like they could do better with sending hand written letters sometimes.

Funnily enough I can track my relationship with my partner with Skype's history. When we were doing the long distance thing and she was still on dial up we managed to use Skype just barely. It was able to route around the University firewall because of its port randomisation. It was a resource hog that likes to set its CPU affinity to high but it worked.

Then it slowly got worse and worse. We both used Skype to talk to our parents and spent most of that time fixing issues related to Skype not working or explaining the latest daft UI redesign.

Nowadays everyone but her parents are on Apple devices and a FaceTime just works and every visit to their place involves fixing Skype and explaining to them about the clusterfuck that is Skype on Windows 8/10.

I've never liked the feel of Skype since its inception (before Microsoft even bought it.) There are already too many chat apps, Messenger and SnapChat (in the US) are the two dominant players. I assume that Skype for Business will eventually be phased out and become a sort of extension for Microsoft Teams. Skype will go back to being more consumer based, and as much as it hurts to hear from former Skype users...this is the type of crap most tweens want now, and it's easier to monetize to consumers. There's a reason why every other chat app is copying SnapChat. So it's not a surprise Microsoft would go this direction, I'm sure it will get better with time in this format.

I HATE MICROSOFT, HOPE THE COMPANY COLLAPSES. Everything they touch turns to shit. They have totally destroyed skype like they did with messenger. Totally made Skype complicated and user unfriendly. I really hate you Microsoft.

Dunno, microsoft to me is slowly becoming like IBM. They don't see very confident in delivering bug free application anymore. 50% of the windows 10 updates breaks my system. There failure to go mobile despite starting late.

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