The new design is awful, they removed contact groups, something I used daily. Didn't they also experiment with stupid stories at one point? And now this. I'm surprised people were not mad about it a lot earlier, since it's been a while since they did this.
All in all, it seems very tone deaf, at least to me.
I'm looking forward to a Microsoft insider's exposé on what really happened inside the Skype team to destroy such a beloved product. It was indeed loved in its pre-Microsoft heyday around 2008-2010: I remember an international student telling me that Skype changed her life because she could stay in audio & video contact with her family overseas.
Since the Microsoft acquisition, every single aspect of Skype has gotten worse. It's remarkable that if Microsoft had done nothing with Skype other than simply keeping it up-to-date with new releases of Windows, OS X, Linux, etc., it would be a far superior product.
As far as I can tell, only two things keep it alive: the tremendous installed base from when it was a much esteemed program and the fact that it runs on everything -- making it the common denominator when the grumpy Windows desktop guy needs to video chat with the hipster on the newest iPad Pro. :-).
I interviewed there, soon after the acquisition, maybe nine months. Probably one of the most shocking experiences in many aspects: they flew me from Europe, no one was ready to talk to me, or knew I was coming at all. I waited more than an hour, thought about leaving, hoping they wouldn’t mind paying for my hotel room and flight either way. Then someone who I recognised from their LinkedIn photo passed me, I said hi—they were surprised and thought the interview wasn’t happening.
I had three interviews from people at most three months out of university (nothing but the same two brain-teasers); overall, the place seemed like completely lacking self-awareness. I had lunch with the only person with any experience, the UX researcher/ethnographer (six months out of post-doc) who was… way over everything. Chosen quotes: “Children running a daycare”, “the entitlement is staggering”, she was happy because that paid way better than academia and she could learn about private research, save money, go to meet-ups and interview.
I liked the lunch because I had tried to make my joke during the interview, one about how Skype allows me to get three alerts about the birthday of a recruiter with whom I had an awkward 20-min chat six years ago (wink, wink: I care about users’ experience too). Blank stare from Chad. The UX researcher got it. It wasn’t funny, but at least I felt like I had pushed my bug report at the edge of my ability zone.
I didn’t get a call-back. I was stranded for six months on an email chain with the recruitment coordinator who was only able to reimburse me with a paper check in dollars (I had bank accounts in four different currencies at that point but not dollars). I honestly think that I got so tired of it all that I just forgot… Or maybe I ended up cashing it at pennies on the dollar because my bank had pity on me.
Anyway, a couple of years later, a new colleague at Facebook joins from there. The guy spent his first three months listing all the terrible, terrible things he saw there. Just new ways of being broken, every day over lunch, for a hundred days. I was impressed. That guy isn’t shy. Not sure he’s a great writer, but there was a lot to be learned there.
I ended up having lunch with the HR person, who was fairly scathing about the whole thing.
Got an offer - which looked fine, until I realised they had me down to work in another city despite all conversations being about working at the site and with the team closest to me.
But then again, I’d be shocked if those had any consequences: she was probably gone under a month, both quotes were based on staggering observations as we were sitting there. The place acted like recess at a middle-school.
Would you broadcast here some of the main points he made? Like what's the roots of the all that were.
- technical debt “so high you could open a central bank” was my favourite quote: he gave implementation details, but it’s hard enough to grasp a working schema, a broken one is just confusing: no indices, bottlenecks everywhere, no monitoring… It was less the individual set-up than the successive obviously inappropriate solutions. Not “queries to this table are slow, let’s factor it, but without checking the query pattern”-bad, more “like let’s host it on a third party service, with incompatible technology, located on a different continent, and edit it 100 times more often” bad.
- every executive decision was going the opposite direction of what anyone could possibly want; so much so that my concerns over usability felt like complaining about the shade of paint after a bomb went off;
- lack of maturity of the team came up a lot; also how arrogant and absent the managers were; he mentioned someone in particular that had completely different architectural ideas every time you saw him. That particular rant has serious racist undertones.
- the product was split in two, or a company was acquired, and they kept the worst code to impose it on others, or only work on the corporate offering… Honestly, I don’t know. It just felt unredeemable.
I asked if I should actively try to work with people who had gone through this because of how much they learned or avoid anyone because they sounded not very self-aware. He clearly advertised for the later. He even said that he edited his own CV to hide that he was ever there. Last time I checked, he’s got a really vague “project at Microsoft as a contractor” there.
Satya, are you there?
I’ve only owned a cheap ass dumb bottom end Samsung TV since and life is better.
There should be a minimum supported period of 6 years for all software on smart TVs, the consequences of which are full refund of the initial purchase price of the TV. That'd kill this shit overnight.
I'd love to be able to just not have all of the "smart" features that they kill well within the lifespan of the TV and instead offload them to an external box.
At least the Samsung didn't have huge Netflix, Amazon etc buttons on the remote, like the LG, which will end up doing nothing some day.
The panel is top notch. QLED to me is a perfect balance between the over-saturated colors of OLED, and the gray blacks of LED.
But Samsung and software... it never works. Sync photos from Android phone to PC? Oh, the PC software only does 1000 photos at a time. Then you must delete 1000 photos and start over, rinse repeat. That's 22 times if you are helping a friend backup a few years of photos.
Each time I encounter a Samsung device with "smart" anything in it, I think, no it must be OK this time. It can't be that so disparate divisions all produce crappy code, over the more than a decade now I've been following them. But yes. Every. Fucking. Time.
The LG is marginally better but it still has issues with audio over ARC and figuring out when to switch on the surround amp and when not to. It'll also randomly switch back to the ARC input if something connected gives it a nudge, while I'm doing something else.
I bought high-end in both cases and it really makes you grit your teeth to realise they can't get this right even at the prices you're paying.
I already had a Gitlab account from years ago because they had free private repos. So it was easy to move everything of mine over after the acquisition.
You might want to sit down for this one.
This just came in yesterday.
> This week, the company is launching live video, giving people and organizations the ability to broadcast real-time video to select groups, or to the LinkedIn world at large.
> Launching in beta first in the U.S., LinkedIn Live (as the product is called) will be invite-only. In coming weeks, LinkedIn will also post a contact form for others who want to get in on the action. It’s not clear when and if LinkedIn will make it possible for everyone to create LinkedIn Live videos, but if you consider how it developed its publishing features for written work, that will come later, too.
> Initial live content that LinkedIn hopes to broadcast lines up with the kind of subject matter you might already see in LinkedIn’s news feed: the plan is to cover conferences, product announcements, Q&As and other events led by influencers and mentors, office hours from a big tech company, earnings calls, graduation and awards ceremonies and more.
> And to underscore how LinkedIn is keen to develop this — especially in its first phase — not as rough-and-ready user-generated content, but as streams of the kinds of videos that fit with its wider ethos, it has selected several third-party developers of live broadcasting streaming services that creators will work with to create and post more polished live video on LinkedIn.
So they killed it.
Desktop Skype: No more narrow width chat windows, so useful for preserving desktop space. Very bad use of space for chats. Find feature is unusably slow for large chat logs. Even selecting another chat contact has noticeable latency before window contents update!
I think I could just go on and on. It's horrible. I seriously need a replacement.
I can think of just one thing that has improved: online/away indication is more reliable now.
It's so sad what Microsoft has done to Skype. I wonder if this is a some kind of experiment how bad the product can be before long time users switch.
None of the chat messaging platforms interoperate. Chat should be like email, but everyone just wants to push their proprietary app consuming battery power and storage.
Universal availability and plain one-to-one & group chat removes most of the issues. Less important to support things like file transfer, voice chat, etc.
Who could combine Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Hangouts, Discord, Microsoft Teams/Skype for Business, etc. and do it in such a fashion I can trust it.
Damn, I don't like government regulation, and when it comes to chat I'm frankly scared — I don't think they could resist the urge of adding backdoors in the process. But who else could put some pressure on the vendors to get these things to interoperate?
I can't believe I have to use a client as bad as Skype.
They totally ruined Skype. I dont use it anymore. I think my first issue was skids getting my IP without effort.
On MSN one somewhat similar though not as critical annoyance was locking people out of logging on to their account by brute forcing the login instead of banning the IP from logging on they punished the actual owner of the account.
Back to Skype... Then they ruined sync on Mobile. You login to your phone and it stalls because instead of pulling in as many messages as you can scroll up one pages worth or only the unread ones, they wanted to pull in the whole chat history like a blockchain update which put Skype to its crawl.
Now they have teams and I would love to use that. It looks awesome but its a little late Microsoft. I guess new Microsoft centered shops will use it. Slack and co are rooted into businesses now instead.
Skype was fine before Microsoft sad to say. Dear Microsoft: stop screwing up Skype.
Not really mad, they're just moving to zoom for this and several other reasons. Skype is kept as legacy for some contact or a backup solution.
Acquisition in 2012.
Maybe it's all relative. Others may find them useful. I would guess that they test and ask about before making changes to billion dollar programs.
Last time i used it it took me a day to figure out what my username was. Had to search forums, ask on the internet, and finally navigate the awful microsoft website back and forth to finally find a childish live:xxxxq122 username (MS blocked my 10+ years account because it didnt like the date of birth i provided in a hurry. I was “too young” to use the service). I have no idea now what happened to basic things like a contact list. The new interface should be studied in design schools on all the things that shouldn’t be done.
I find myself using whatsapp or gtalk for meetings now. Having to call collaborators using the same device/service i use with my family. Thanks Microsoft.
This may be against GDPR in Europe, but may not, because everyone they are suggesting has agreed to Skype's term at some point.
That and a few other very poor experiences with the service, including some very questionable security issues.
Frankly, I hope it does off.
It's mind boggling how so much money and so many 'smart' Engineers could just run a product into the ground.
Skype needs to be analyzed for why it's such a product failure.
My guess: it's mostly driven by strategic objectives (i.e. downloads, revenues) and the Engineers may care, but that 'user experience' is not a primary concern.
It blows my mind how Google, MS and others don't yet grasp this, and how even 'changing interfaces' has a considerable usability cost.
We use ZOOM now for most things, it's very reliable, but the interface is kind of weird.
Bingo. Everyone is focused on one part of that platform and nobody owns the experience as a whole. So the overall experience suffers.
My grief with Skype goes deep, not to mention Skype for Business and the idiotic impossibility of adding contacts between S4B and Skype.
On the bottom of your link:
Not available with Skype contacts
Multi-party IM conversations
Audio and video conversations with three or more people
Desktop and program sharing
> I recommend http://zoom.us or http://appear.in as alternatives that don’t “help” you by exposing your contacts to the world.
I wouldn't trust sensitive data on any of them, and with the way advertising tech and governments treat privacy, I'm not sure technology has a bright future in that regard. I would sooner write down a secret on a piece of paper and lock it in a drawer than keep them on a computer.
It's much more practical to have retractable, replaceable secrets, so that you have agency over an inevitable leak of that secret. The way credit card companies handle breaches is a great example, they are very sympathetic to the fact that cards get stolen.
I don't lead a particularly interesting life, so it's not really going to stop me from using computers, but on principal it's not very good that we can't trust the devices in our pockets.
These changes should be opt-in.
Tried several more times - it shows “off” when clicked, but back on when I re-enter. I will try again from a desktop when I am next to one.
I assume it’s incompetence rather than malice, but.... understandably, incompetence never works for the users, only against them.
Afterwards I contacted their support twice and both times I ended up talking with somebody that tried to convince me that it was my fault ("you must have created a second account"). I understand that this actually happens in the real world but after talking with support the second time with no result, I just gave up.
And then I stopped using Skype, convinced my colleagues too, we switched to Slack, Hangouts, Zoom, whatever.
Interestingly Microsoft has good support for other products. E.g. I contacted them twice about bugs in OneDrive and in both cases I received a prompt acknowledgement that the issue exists and then afterwards acknowledgement that it was fixed.
But the experience with Skype was just terrible. When people accuse them of running Skype into the ground, I tend to agree.
So long to the random designs, dropping calling features, horrible connections and barely-human customer support. You won't get another penny from me unless/until you do a 180.
It's been a few days of Viber and already I see several pluses:
* Putting a call on speaker takes one tap and doesn't hang my phone, unlike Skype which pops up the native iOS sound output device chooser for some reason.
* Easy to see call history & times under a given contact (Skype did a weird center-aligned thing that made the information super-difficult for human eyes to parse)
* Easy to edit contact name info (Skype made this like 5 menus deep)
* Easy to set/remove contacts as favorites (Skype hid this somewhere new every few weeks)
Microsoft ruined it when they introduced Skype for business, which isn't even the same thing? How confusing.
Andreesen Horowitz must have been laughing all the way to the bank.
Also, I can't help wondering what changes they will be making to this "feature" to accommodate California's new CCPA...
It would however be interesting to see how Skype for Pro's (read: Business) handles this suggestion feature.
It's also a completely separate product. Skype is to Skype for Business as Visual Studio is to Visual Studio Code.
They really are distinct products, it's "skype" by name only.
Office Communicator/Lync/SfB is really designed for companies to run themselves, there's tangential support for federation (as in, it exists, but it's a complete and utter nightmare for administering) there's no support for blocking contacts and by default the entire "local" directory is available. In fact, I'm not even sure if you can configure it not to expose all your users to every other user.
It's a /completely/ different product, that fact cannot be understated.
I'd say they are probably going to draw a hard line between them, perhaps so they can experiment with more public features like this.
"LinkedIn integration in the Office web apps will gradually start rolling out in the coming months for Office 365 users and to Outlook on the web users who have opted in to the new Outlook on the web, and world-wide availability will come in 2019."
We've been testing Teams for a week and nobody has used it ever since. It doesn't delivers a message and then it disappear; the calls often work only one-way. To use it on Linux, you have to fake your user-agent. It's laughably bad.