Microsoft to retire older Skype for Mac versions, force mandatory upgrades

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2015
Microsoft on Friday announced it will be "retiring" older desktop versions of Skype for both Windows and Mac, forcing existing users to upgrade to the latest edition of the popular voice over IP service.



Skype, which was purchased by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5 billion, noted the upcoming change in a post to its official blog.

"We are going to retire older versions of Skype for Windows desktop (6.13 and below) as well as Skype for Mac (6.14 and below) over the next few months," the company said.

While the term "retire" was not clarified in the post, Computerworld later verified with Microsoft that users running these older versions will not be able to log in until they upgrade. In other words, the upgrades are mandatory.

It is unclear why Skype is forcing users to download newer builds of its communications client, though it is theorized that Microsoft may be implementing a new baseline service to support upcoming features.

In May, Skype teased a real-time translation feature that will be consumer ready sometime this year. At the time, Microsoft said it is planning to harvest data from real Skype conversations to achieve higher levels of accuracy, a system that could possibly require a reworking of Skype's backend.

The most current version of Skype for Mac is 6.18, which can be downloaded for free from the company's website.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    n0b0dyn0b0dy Posts: 8member
    That means the ppc version will also stop working. Without getting an update. :(
  • Reply 2 of 59
    jcallowsjcallows Posts: 142member

    and it will now be called microsoft messenger...

  • Reply 3 of 59
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,589member
    No need for Skype on OS X and iOS anymore use FaceTime or FaceTime voice for free.
  • Reply 4 of 59
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,735member
    Sure, if you only want to talk to people that have iPhones and/or Macs. I don't have technical prerequisites for my friends or colleagues.
  • Reply 5 of 59
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    It's quite clear why Microsoft must force this upgrade. I used to like Skype, but then came the UI changes just before Microsoft bought them. That made Skype into the worst--bar none--UI on the Mac. I quit using Skype. Others apparently stuck with those older versions instead, hence this need to force them to update.
    A better-run organization would give OS X and iOS versions a Mac-like UI rather that a Microsoft one.
  • Reply 6 of 59
    I wish more companies would do things like this. It would force corporate IT folks to stop being at least a year or two behind on everything.
  • Reply 7 of 59
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    Skype used to be the defacto video call, even though it was rubbish it was better than the mac effort. Since FaceTime however, this has all changed, FaceTime is very good (still room for improvement), and since Skype wen t all Microsoft then it got ruined. I use FaceTime exclusively for video and audio chats with colleagues and friends, but they are all Apple. If you are PC based the I suppose you will be used to poor quality in everything you buy, and Microsiftified Skype will be lovely for you. Bye bye Skype.
  • Reply 8 of 59
    mariomario Posts: 345member
    Facetime is not replacement for Skype. Just because they can be used for vaguely similar things does not mean they are used for same purpose.

    Skype is a first and foremost VOIP client. You can make calls to regular phones/mobiles anywhere in the world. Unlimited world subscription costs just $130 for a year! Unlimited North America calling for a month costs just $2. This means you can call any mobile or house phone and talk for entire month for just $2.

    In addition Skype has a decent cross platform screen sharing feature.

    I love Skype on my iPhone. I can be cycling out in the boonies and talk to my sister in Europe on her mobile phone at the same time. And the bandwidth demands are very very low.
  • Reply 9 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,727member
    I forcibly retired Skype a couple of years ago. Haven't used it once since then.
  • Reply 10 of 59
    It's absolutely clear why they're forcing the upgrades: So they can monetize the service.

    Older versions used to allow you to share screens, but in newer versions that's a paid feature. They pull features and charge for them as they upgrade the software.
  • Reply 11 of 59
    It will likely have a built in advertisement banner and auto update "feature."

    It would be nice if they built it with "Instant Messenger" but I hope the client can sit around and not suck up resources and the UI be improved.

    I'm hoping Microsoft doesn't stick their foot in it like they did with the xBox One. Maybe they've learned they have to compete in a market rather than dictate -- but old habits die hard.

    I also hope that calling phones won't be so dang expensive in Skype.
  • Reply 12 of 59
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    No need for Skype on OS X and iOS anymore use FaceTime or FaceTime voice for free.

    1) I never made any regular Skype calls but I did use it for Skype Out to a phone number and even had a Skype In number. That all changed once Google offered Google Voice numbers for free. That is the now the number I give for anything non-personal as opposed to giving out my home or cellphone number.

    2) It doesn't get talked about much but FaceTme and iMessage have been extremely disruptive despite being proprietary services that only exist on Apple devices. Just two days ago I finally pulled the plug on using Adium, a great Mac app that allows for the collation of various messaging systems. I simply don't use Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, MSN Messenger, or GTalk any longer to talk with friends and family. It's all done through the much more convenient and powerful iMessage (and to a lesser extent email and phone).

    3) Oddly, I do still need to maintain AIM and GTalk accounts a this is the only way to share a Mac screen via the Messages app née iChat (not iMessage service) when trying to assist friends and family. I'd love for Apple to finally allow that to happen, as well as make it possible to share an iOS-based device, since all the protocols are there.
  • Reply 13 of 59
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,590member
    I haven't used Skype in years. FaceTime is mostly used in our household. For long distance phone services there are many VOIP services out there. I have been using Localphone for a couple of years and I have no complaints. Ridiculously cheap.
  • Reply 14 of 59
    spaceraysspacerays Posts: 116member

    Probably because the newer versions contain the latest NSA backdoors.

  • Reply 15 of 59

    I don't use Skype since it was purchased and spoiled by M$. FaceTime is OK for my needs.

  • Reply 16 of 59
    MichaelOfTroy -

    It's not us IT guys that are slow to upgrade to the latest software - we want to do this as it's better or more secure. The true culprit is either money or incompatibilities.

    Upgrading to the lasted paid Adobe, Microsoft, SAP, Siebel, etc apps/systems for 16,000 employees costs millions. Further, their are usually dependancies everyone has built on the software elsewhere. It's not the IT guy's fault he can't deploy the latest version of IE, it's all the websites that were built to use IE6, 7, 8, 9, etc. I want to deploy IE10. Can't - Siebel and SAP don't work with the version that we have running. Why? Because upgrading those would cost millions. That's IF the companies using Microsoft's ecosystem bother to keep up with the latest browsers.

    Quit kicking the IT guy. You want the latest version of Skype? Go install it.
  • Reply 17 of 59
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    The only thing this will accomplish for Microsoft is a complete decimation of their OS X and iOS share base, switching to iMessage.

     

    Never mind on their own side of things, as people don’t like the new designs there, either.

  • Reply 18 of 59
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,716member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    In May, Skype teased a real-time translation feature that will be consumer ready sometime this year. At the time, Microsoft said it is planning to harvest data from real Skype conversations to achieve higher levels of accuracy, a system that could possibly require a reworking of Skype's backend.

     

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  • Reply 19 of 59
    eideardeideard Posts: 372member
    NSA needs an updated backdoor in Skype.
  • Reply 20 of 59
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,589member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mario View Post



    Facetime is not replacement for Skype. Just because they can be used for vaguely similar things does not mean they are used for same purpose.



    Skype is a first and foremost VOIP client. You can make calls to regular phones/mobiles anywhere in the world. Unlimited world subscription costs just $130 for a year! Unlimited North America calling for a month costs just $2. This means you can call any mobile or house phone and talk for entire month for just $2.



    In addition Skype has a decent cross platform screen sharing feature.



    I love Skype on my iPhone. I can be cycling out in the boonies and talk to my sister in Europe on her mobile phone at the same time. And the bandwidth demands are very very low.

     

    Free for life in Yosemite + iOS 8...

    Why pay for anything else?

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