Today’s Windows 11 news is about how Microsoft computing computing over the next few years, but it’s just as much the story of how Skype has flourished and ebbed since its acquisition of $ 8.5 billion ten years ago. Five years ago, Skype was the big name in internet calling and video, and Microsoft made it an “inbox app” for Windows 10 that was included during installation and launched on startup by default.
Today, after a pandemic year in which more people are using their PCs for voice and video than ever before, Skype was nowhere to be found in Windows 11 presentation or documents. Instead, Microsoft Teams gets pride of place. in the new center-aligned taskbar and deep integration into Windows.
The future vision Microsoft had for Skype everywhere has become a reality – but that reality has made competitors Zoom and FaceTime household names instead. In June, when Microsoft made Teams available for personal accounts, the company always pretended to be talking to Skype, saying, “For people who just want a very specialized app, Skype is a great solution, and we have it. support and encourage it. . “
But now, if you want to use Skype, you’re going to have to go find it in the Microsoft Store like any other app. A spokesperson for the company tells The edge: “Skype is no longer an inbox app for new devices running Windows 11. The Skype app can be downloaded for free through the Microsoft Store.
You can see how much Skype has dropped over the past year when you consider what other apps Windows 11 will include out of the box; even Windows Terminal will be a pack-in. Skype is joining OneNote, Paint 3D, and 3D Viewer as apps that will no longer ship with the operating system.
Even the addition of one-click “Meet Now” features couldn’t help Skype compete at the start of the pandemic. The sudden push to go remote has seen regular users choose powerful enterprise-grade chat apps, with giants like Microsoft and Google opening their doors to spur the trend. Now, just like Google, Microsoft has a complicated lineup of conferencing tools to sort through, and the launch of Windows 11 suggests it will cut the weight sooner rather than later.