Oh, where to begin? Skype was the world’s voice-over-IP phone service which ran fine on Macs, PCs, iPhones, and Android devices. Skype was never quite as elegant as Apple’s own FaceTime, of course, but it worked well and helped to keep people connected for free or next to free.
Then, Microsoft bought Skype. Let the funny games begin.
The latest version of Skype from Microsoft still has most of the features which made it the most popular free VOIP service and app. Free Skype-to-Skype calls on most modern mobile devices and PCs. Landline and cellphone calling options. Text messaging and voice mail. And, the function that hasn’t taken off even now– video calls.
Even adding some of Skype’s more commercial functions doesn’t make it an expensive telecommunications service. Microsoft promised to heed user feedback and the latest version is a mixed bag.
You can log into Skype now using your Facebook account or Microsoft account. Instant messaging now extends to Windows Live Messenger accounts, Hotmail accounts, and Outlook.com accounts.
Preferences are even more cluttered than previous versions.
And, responding to someone’s request, Microsoft added open chats in multiple windows.
The real problem has to do with interface design, not exactly Microsoft’s strong suit. Features you want and need and buried in Preferences. Confirm message at quitting the app comes to mind.
Whoever designed the Skype Home window should be put back on Social Security. It’s unnecessary and can’t be dismissed. Thankfully, there’s still an add-on app that improves Skype.