The present shift to “work from home” should have a moment for Skype to shine. Instead, it is an afterthought for many of us, who have turned to Zoom (warts and all) at a time when the video has become a crucial part of our daily communication. Microsoft has bungled the Skype acquisition, and on its watch ruined what was clearly a simple, effective, and a beloved product. Instead, it is foisting Teams on to former Skype-lovers. And it is not just Microsoft – other big technology companies video collaboration products are a bit meh as well. In this wonderful article, the Wired UK has covered the rise of Zoom and the fall of Skype. And given my long history with Skype, they asked me to explain why?

Skype, redesigned (again)

Microsoft is once again redesigning Skype — in order to make Skype great again. Or as a Microsoft executive puts it too “focus on simplicity* to provide an overall better experience for you by making Skype faster to learn and easier to use.” What he is not saying — Microsoft messed up Skype so bad that what was a market leading product is now an afterthought in modern daily communication flow. Continue reading “Skype, redesigned (again)”

Skype, Interrupted

Skype, was once a beloved product, one that I loved using every day. It was a product I wrote about long before it was trendy. I sent the team feedback. Like all tiny apps that are good at what they do, it became popular and grew really fast. It was sold to eBay, and then re-sold to Microsoft. And that’s when the magic disappeared. Through series of mergers and managers, Skype became an exact opposite of what I loved about it — independent outsider which was great at — chat, messaging and phone calls. It had just enough features, and its desktop client was minimal in its perfection.  Now, as I tweeted in the past, it is “a turd of the highest quality.”

Bloomberg took a closer look at the Skype and its decline. Microsoft argued that the “criticism is overblown and reflects, in part, people’s grumpiness with software updates.” They say that now the focus is the corporate market. But that doesn’t deny the fact that it is a terrible interface, inhuman and difficult to use. It lacks any imagination — a fact that is repeatedly reinforced on social media every time you bring up Skype and its user experience.  “It is like Tim Tebow trying to be a baseball player,” I told Bloomberg reporters. “The product is so confusing, kludgey and unusable.” (more…)

Read article on Bloomberg