Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications Microsoft Software

Skype Users Slam Microsoft's Attempt To Infuse App With Social Media Magic (theregister.co.uk) 145

Last month Skype announced a major update to its messaging and video calling app. The update brought a visual revamp, as well as "social features" such as Highlights that were first introduced by Snapchat. At any rate, it turns out, people are not enjoying the update as much as Microsoft had hoped. From a report: Reviews of the Android and iOS versions of the app have been mostly terrible, and those posted to the Windows App Store have not been much better. Chief among the issues is that the redesign imagines Skype as a youth-oriented social media app along the lines of Instagram or Snapchat, rather than a staid business communications tool. "This new app is absolutely terrible," observes an individual posting to Google Play under the name Kulli Kelder. "Skype is mostly used by people for professional use or for connecting with friends far away. This looks as far from simple and professional as it can be. Skype does NOT need to be Snapchat ." The Skype team clearly has a different view of its work. "We think it's the best Skype we've ever built -- inside and out -- and it's been designed to make it easier for you to use for your everyday communications," the company said last month. A few individuals have expressed similar enthusiasm, but among those reviewing the most recent update, one-star ratings dominate. Of the 20 most-recent reviews posted to the iTunes App Store, 19 out of 20 award one star out of five. The other is two stars.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Skype Users Slam Microsoft's Attempt To Infuse App With Social Media Magic

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, 2017 @02:37PM (#54758901)

    for the better. Seriously. Change today means "making everything worse". Without exceptions.

    • "And they probably redesigned the whole sick-bay too! I know engineers, they love to change things!"
      -----
      "Does the new medical facilities meet with your approval Bones?"
      "They do not - it's like working in a damn computer center"
    • I think it's because change for good goes unnoticed. For example FitBit Charge HR 2. The design is much different from version 1, yet it is much better.
    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @03:42PM (#54759363) Journal
      I don't care what anyone says, systemd is a huge improvement over Skype. Improvement right there, taste it, bro.
    • they should have called it Bing Plus then the people who need to rebel would flock to it unwittingly.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Attaching social media to your skype calls means spying on your skype calls, you would be an idiot to not be pissed off and a marketdroid troll. Seriously are you people not paying attention, fuck Skyp, Skype is dead.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The last changes Microsoft made to Skype was a dead giveaway. You could see the plague of rotting zombie corpses walking along the freeway way ahead in the distance. Getting confirmation that you really do want to quit Skype and if you do, you won't be able to keep in contact with your friends. Built in advertising? Auto-startup on first power up?

      Main reason for all of these, I guess, is that some people do use Skype as a form of Instant Messaging.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by dtmos ( 447842 ) *

      Change today means "making everything worse". Without exceptions.

      Welcome to aging. With me it happened in my late 30s, but YMMV.

      I used to wonder why old people were so grumpy all the time. Now I know.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm so sick of that kind of talk. It isn't "because of aging", but because things are really made to be worse and worse.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by TimHunter ( 174406 )
      YES! Finally somebody gets it. I don't really want anything that looks or acts more recent than about 1985 or so. Personally I'm still using a green-on-black CRT monitor and doing everything with the command line. Linux? Pshaw! Too new for my taste. I'm running a BSD Unix from 1980. I can't play games but by god it's OLD. My phone is an AT&T dial landline. My TV? A B&W 1959 Motorola. I'm driving a 1970 Ford Fairlane with a straight drive, 4 barrel carburetor, and drum brakes. Sure it doesn't have an
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Not funny, clever or original in any way, shape or form.

      • by chrish ( 4714 )

        Lies. Colossal Cave Adventure was written in '76 and Rogue in '80.

        Chances are you still haven't won at Rogue, so you're covered for gaming.

    • by JThundley ( 631154 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @07:23PM (#54760617) Homepage

      This is Skype and Microsoft we're talking about. The very first thing Microsoft did when they bought Skype was to change it to make it worse. They threw away the P2P functionality that gave users better privacy than other programs.

    • by inking ( 2869053 )
      Yeah, thanks, Obama.
    • Skype 10
    • That's because changes aren't singular. When something changes there's often many changes involved, however we tend to focus on the ones we find worse than the ones we find better.

      There are changes for the better in everything we hate, even Windows 10 and the never stationary Google Maps have some fantastic changes, but we spend all of our energy focusing on the downsides. e.g. Would I happily roll back several versions of Maps to get the pre-material layout versions? Hell no, the traffic and incident notif

  • Is that why Win10 has been popping up an advertising square for Skype on my laptop? Meh... Not interested.
    • Ah, yes, the "Microsoft Consumer Experiences". That's what they actually call the "download and add random craplets to the start menu" feature in the group policy template you can use to turn it off(Enterprise or Education SKUs only; sorry "Professionals"...)
  • They shut off all landline adapters using their Skype Number product last month...I was not happy to lose a service I had paid for half way though the year.
    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      That's theft of service. File a criminal complaint and also file a lawsuit in small claims court to get more than your money back.

      • It's $60/yr for the phone service...which still works on Android, just not the landline adapters. So I haven't technically lost the service, I just can't use it as a home phone.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @02:50PM (#54758997)
    From my perspective Skype was starting to make major inroads into corporate networks to replace other video conferencing systems in addition to being what younger consumers used. It was fairly unobtrusive and cross-platform. Then MS had to buy them and change their focus. Now it's all about chasing the cool which MS was never good at doing.
    • What?? They've been the epitome of cool since windows 7!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • What's worse is they had early mover advantage in the market (as they pre-dated most other alternatives), AND when MS bought them they had the numerous advantages of the largest desktop OS vendor in the world backing them (e.g. financial, integration, network effects etc.) ... to fail to make Skype a success under those conditions is a really big fail.

  • Use GNU Ring instead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grumpy-cowboy ( 4342983 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @02:52PM (#54759009)
    • Oh, sure, that'll solve everything. Just got to make everyone else move all at once as well, no problem.

      • Oh, sure, that'll solve everything. Just got to make everyone else move all at once as well, no problem.

        That's not necessary. If I were to use Ring, then the people who wanted to talk to me via video conferencing would install it, too. Eventually, everyone I care to talk to would be using Ring to talk to me. Since Ring is free and Free, they would have nothing to lose; so they would use it for video calls with me.

        That's all that matters.

        • If I were to use Ring, then the people who wanted to talk to me via video conferencing would install it, too.

          You hope. Even if that's true for you, it's not going to be true for the vast majority of people.

          A far more likely scenario is that one person moves to Ring, tells everyone else "hey I moved to Ring! Move to Ring!" and everyone else just says "Eh? Ring? No, I use Skype. Everyone else I know uses Skype."

          And then you need to consider the people who don't get to choose what they can install and use.

          • by Trogre ( 513942 )

            In academia at least Skype is barely seen any more, with the far superior Zoom being the preferred option.

        • If I were to use Ring, then the people who wanted to talk to me via video conferencing would install it, too.

          You've never worked for a large corporation, have you? Any work-provided computing device is going to be locked down and you definitely aren't going to be allowed to install some software you downloaded off of the Internet.

    • by Hydrian ( 183536 )

      Obligatory XKCD : https://xkcd.com/927/

    • not fooling me! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by citylivin ( 1250770 )

      A "ring" at a CX domain?

      Is it a firey red ring by chance, spread far and wide for all to see? ( no, i am under no circumstances being fooled into clicking that link! i been around here too long!)

    • They could have at least used less obscure domain name to not make people ask if that could be a scam site.

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      I'm hesitant to click on anything that ends with .cx

      Fool me once...

  • Probably the biggest failing here is not understanding what Skype is. The biggest problem is that the changes fundamentally redefine what Skype is; but Skype's users used it for what it was: simple video conferencing.
  • Best Skype EVAR? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dusty101 ( 765661 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @02:57PM (#54759059)

    "We think it's the best Skype we've ever built..."

    This statement may even be true, since it's coming from an MS employee. However, it still doesn't change the fact that Skype was better before the MS buyout.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, 2017 @03:04PM (#54759097)

    In the last month or so I've had three updates to apps that have been terrible

    1. WeatherBug used to be the best weather app by far, but a recent upgrade made it unusable so I switched to weatherunderground
    2. Hulu revamped their app with terrible Ux as a result. I now avoid Hulu unless I'm watching on my Tivo which has not updated yet (and I hope it won't).
    3 Now skype.

    Is this bad SW engineering or Sw engineers being forced into bad decisions by managers that don't get that Ux is not just about eye candy it's also about how easy it is for a user to achieve what they want to do with as little effort as possible. To me, at least, usability out weighs eye candy every time

    • It's an old familiar story, really. It's the mentality that killed Digg, and almost killed Slashdot. Death by redesign, or whatever you call it. It's like celebrity deaths. They don't really come in 3s. Humans just naturally find patterns. Famous people die all the time. UIs get ruined all the time. My local news outlet just ruined their web site like this. It's a sea of white space now, with so many scripts running that it jerks when I try to scroll. Until more people walk away, they're not going

    • by theCoder ( 23772 )

      1. WeatherBug used to be the best weather app by far, but a recent upgrade made it unusable so I switched to weatherunderground

      Ha! Weather Underground used to be a great site before the Weather Channel (I think) purchased them and really bloated it up. It's really unfortunate because they have great information, especially for tropical storms.

  • I constantly see new businesses spend thousands on marketing themselves, and won't spend twenty fucking dollars to buy their own domain in order to avoid presenting a cheap Facebook@Gmail image.

    You want a professional business-grade solution for video chat? Then get off your damn wallet and invest in a system specifically designed for such a purpose instead of jumping on the social media teat to suckle with all the other cheap-asses.

    TL; DR - You get what you pay for.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      so the skype for business (paid) app did not change?

    • Even worse when they spend all that money and have a @gmail.com email address.

  • Looks like the dev team for skype took the worst bits of facebook messenger, whatsapp, viber and snapchat, threw it in a mixer and produced one big shiny t*rd nugget!

  • Skype and Zune (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @03:32PM (#54759299)

    ...Skype does NOT need to be Snapchat ....

    Obviously, Microsoft thinks it does. Microsoft is being left behind by the world of social media. So Microsoft wants to use Skype the same way they used Zune --- an attempt to play catch-up with the market leaders.

  • I used it briefly, and didn't see why it is that popular. I don't use video and audio. I still prefer IRC, ICQ, AIM, YIM, BBS, etc.

    • It was popular because it worked over port 80, so it easily went through corporate firewalls. That's my understanding.
    • Try to think as a domestic user rather than a business one. I used Skype regularly to video call my grandchildren halfway across the world and I'm willing to bet that is what many use it for, keeping in touch with distant relatives.

      None of this IM nonsense, just a simple install onto any OS the far end has available and bingo! face to face calls made easy.

      We've given up on Skype now. MS wanted to find out too much about me and I've had enough. Download all my contacts so that I can use Skype to call them? W

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        Ah, I never use the AV stuff. I don't even have a mic and webcam in my old desktop PCs. ;)

  • I mean, Microsoft fcuking up something is not news - it's what they are best at. Consider yourself middle-fingered, Microsoft - and, today, it is much more than just me saying so.
  • They are trying to make a huge differentiation between consumer Skype and "Skype for Business" (aka Lync). The people using consumer Skype as a business tool simply will not move away from it to SfB, because everyone hates SfB and consumer Skype works really well. The only option is to make the consumer Skype so unpalatable to use in a business environment that you "have to" move to SfB.
    • Or I can stick with WebEx and switch to whatsapp for personal use ....
    • Skype and SfB don't play well together either. I've had MANY tickets from my users who can't connect to our SfB contacts from a normal Skype account. Making it even more confusing is the two icons, they are the same color just inverse of each other. We would have to go and have some "end user education", enable auto-login on SfB, and uninstall Skype all the time. For awhile we had our EU business division on an EU-based tenancy, and us on a US-based one. Even in SfB, often one side couldn't see if the othe
  • by chuckugly ( 2030942 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @04:04PM (#54759507)
    My 20-something galpal just let off a long litany of gripes about Skype into my ear just yesterday, so it's not just old 1960s model nerds like me that think the changes are complete dogsh*t. But it's by god got a whizzy new sine wave "i'm working on it" animation, so it must be good right? Idiots.

    Someone needs fired for this.
  • Skype is on the decline since the founders sold it.
    And since M$ bought it it is utter shit. Don't let me start about "skype for business", Lync or something it is called.
    I slowly convert my friends to Telegram. And as soon as we have a good video chat app again, Skype will be dead.
    I'm sick of that "tyranny of vendors" ...

    The Skype team clearly has a different view of its work. "We think it's the best Skype we've ever built -- inside and out -- and it's been designed to make it easier for you to use for your

    • The "front end" is Skype for Business. However, many of the internal registry entries still say Lync. The DNS modifications you have to make still say Lync. All they did is change the UI.
  • by Nemosoft Unv. ( 16776 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @06:26PM (#54760333)

    So Microsoft finally commented:

    We’re confident that as we continue to listen to users and provide updates to the app with new features and functionality, we’ll be able to keep improving the experience.

    So the usual marketing blabla of "improving your experience". When, for crying out loud, is a company going to admit that they were wrong and going to reverse course??! Just for once, please. Just say "Oops, sorry. We hear you; here's the previous version." Now that would be really listening to your customers.

    • That is such a generic line it basically sounds like some corporate manager-bot spent a whole 5 minutes half-heartedly cutting and pasting it from some PR handbook just before going home for the day and proceeding to forget about it. It's so tone-deaf.

    • > Just for once, please. Just say "Oops, sorry. We hear you; here's the previous version."

      I don’t even need that; I’ve long since started archiving old iPhone apps in case an update gets worse. (So I’ll avoid iOS 11 as long as possible.) But this time Skype forced me to upgrade in order to connect; I’d settle for “you are now allowed to use the previous version.”

    • by WallyL ( 4154209 )

      So Microsoft finally commented:

      We’re confident that as we continue to listen to users and provide updates to the app with new features and functionality, we’ll be able to keep improving the experience.

      So the usual marketing blabla of "improving your experience". When, for crying out loud, is a company going to admit that they were wrong and going to reverse course??! Just for once, please. Just say "Oops, sorry. We hear you; here's the previous version." Now that would be really listening to your customers.

      FreeNAS did: http://www.freenas.org/blog/freenas-corral-status-release-technology-preview-status/ [freenas.org]

  • Lets change it all and make it worse because we want more... The new Skype interface sucks and looks horrid and the same for Google news.

  • I just ran the Windows classic desktop client and the MS App Store client side by side. They don't seem all that different to me. What exactly has brought about all this wrath? The summary just repeats how "terrible" it is, without giving any details except for adding a "highlights" feature. I've never used SnapChat, so I have no idea what features it might have borrowed from that app, or why they are so awful.

    The Android client has never worked well, so no surprises there.

  • Out of the pan and into the fire, I've quit Skype for good.
    I frankly trust the big G more than M$.
    Guess we have to pick our poison

  • I use Skype desktop version for text chat at work, and I think it breaks many of the most basic rules of UI design. These rules have been known about for decades, and often promoted by Microsoft as the "right way" to write Windows apps.

    There are two very simple options that have been requested many times on the Skype forums over the past 2-3 years: change the color scheme, remove the speech bubbles.

    Here's all my rants condensed into one page: http://moteprime.org/article.p... [moteprime.org]

    It looks like the new Skype is c

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

Working...