You did Skype wrong again Microsoft. Did I stutter the 1'st time?

Roman DeSilva

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Mar 9, 2013
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It was a while ago that I wrote that Skype needs to be scrapped and started again from scratch

Much of it still applies to this new rant. But in using the new skype app, I feel the need to scream into the either again. For those of you not in the know, Skype has been redone and has a fresh new look. But Skypes problems have little to do with the way it looks. It’s the fact that it’s got massive feature gaps. There’s not really a reason to use skype. There was so much promise when Microsoft bought skype. But I never see it used on the Xbox 360 or One. It takes FOREVER to load on my Lumia 950 XL. Which leaves the only place worth using it as the PC/Tablet. Microsoft has updated the app and given it a less depressing makeover. It looks nice to use. But they’ve fallen almost completely flat on reasons to use it.

Before I sound off on what I don’t like about it. Let me say what I do like about it: The new look: It’s sexy as hell. It’s no longer an updated version of an otherwise depressing throwback service. It needs a little bit more project neon but it looks Amazing. I’m liking reactions to chat messages. But there needs to be more of them like anger. I love the fact that I can draw on photos and do lots of effects. The gifs are cool but need to be searchable. Right now, the selection is limited. And the video & picture editing features are amazeballs. Highlights are also cool but just make my life easier by also pulling in information from my twitter & Facebook. Just show my most recent post when I haven’t uploaded a video. Bots, Bots and more Bots. I like the bots. They can be entertaining and even helpful.

All that said and knowing that this is a beta. There’s so much about this app that leaves much to be desired and it says A LOT about the direction that doesn’t make it appealing. Because it seems to me that Skype is trying to be a social network. Which is not what it needs to be. It needs to be the BEST MESSAGING APP POSSIBLE.

Let’s start with the messaging end of it. When I share a link, it can’t just be the link. Give me a preview of the site. And if I share a link like YouTube, Vimeo or any other video site, it should show the video in line with the message. If I hit an expand button or turn the device into landscape, I should see that video in full screen.

Skype needs read receipts. Please give me some indication that my message has been read by the person that I sent it to. I have confidence that the message was sent. But lots of messenger services give me this. But for some reason, not skype. It also needs @mentions. This is already available in outlook. Just bring it to skype. That way I can @mention someone in a message. They don’t need to see the whole conversation. Just the part they’re mentioned in. While we’re looking at outlook features in Skype, lets also borrow focused inbox. That way I can see messages from the people I value the most first rather than just the messages in chronological order. 1 feature I like from Facebook Messenger is the ability to forward messages. I like the quote feature currently in skype. But there needs to be a BCC feature. Where I can secretly add someone to a chat. Currently I can add an emotion to chat bubble. What I’d like to do is to add a star to it to either favorite/flag it for later or add it to OneNote. One last thing to borrow from outlook. Swipe left to delete a message and swipe right to archive it.

If you’re going to copy snapchat. Go big or go home. What made snapchat popular isn’t the stories. What skype needs is messages that I can either delete from all ends of a conversation or set them delete once they’re viewed or after a certain amount of time. I don’t care what kind of message it is. A text, voice note, video, picture, location or contact. If I delete it from my end, it should be gone from the recipients end as well. If I say delete once viewed or delete after an hr, it shouldn’t exist on my end, their end or even on the Skype servers. That’s what made SnapChat popular.

Microsoft, you own multiple different services. Why not leverage them? How about adding a little Wunderlist and OneNote to Skype. Allow me to make a shared list in a chat that I and the other person/people can add/subtract items too and check off as we go. Or how about adding groove to Skype. You know what I hate seeing? Headphone splitters and 2 people sharing headphones. Why can’t I play a song in skype and have someone I’m in a chat with hear the song at the EXACT same time? Let’s take this all a step further. How about adding outlook calendar? That way I can create an event like I would in outlook and I can request the other person I’m chatting with to accept or decline.

Skype needs to be about more than texts and calls. It’s been that for almost 20 years. How about adding push to talk? Rather than simply sending a voice message. If I’m in a chat with someone and the conversation is open, lets have push to talk. Goodbye Voxer. You wouldn’t be missed. Speaking of other apps, there are features from other messaging services that would be nice to see in skype. For instance, the ability to send and receive money. Facebook messenger is the best at this because it automatically deposits the money for me and it usually occurs within 30 min. And it can be passcode locked. Microsoft can easily 1 up this using windows hello. Live location tracking would also be a welcome addition. Think of Glympse, someone can send me a live location request and rather than me constantly sending an eta, they can track me for a set amount of time or until I revoke their permission.

Now let’s talk about the phone features. For 1 thing, Voicemail and text messages shouldn’t be 2 separate things. A message is a message is a message. If I get a call from bob, it should show up the messages as a missed call beneath his last text/picture/video/voice/location/contact message. If he leaves a video or voice message, the same rule should apply. And video and audio messages should be transcribed. Google voice does this. Microsoft can do this better. While we’re on the subject of google voice, Stop trying to upsell me on EVERYTHING. Give me a phone number linked to my Microsoft account. One that forwards all my calls to the numbers linked to it. And let me make a pre-recorded video/audio greeting.

A phone call should be able to happen by pushing a phone icon for the dialer or by tapping a user profile. And putting a call on hold, should allow me to pick up that phone call from any device. So lets say I start a call on my lumia, if I put it on hold, I should then be able to pick it up on my surface, xbox, hololens or Edge. Similar to handoff. Another feature that would be nice to have is in call recording. Rather than have that functionality built into the phone. Just allow me to record a phone call and have that recording go straight to OneDrive along with details like who the call was with, who initiated the call, the length of the call. Keep the language translator.

One thing I hate about using skype is trying to find my friends. Doing it by username is not as easy as 1 would think. How about friend by QR Code and NFC? That way when I’m right in front of the person I want to add to my contacts, I can do it easily. But there’s 1 killer feature I want in skype. I want Cortana built into skype. Those shared calendars in conversations, They would work better if Cortana could tell me if there are schedule conflicts. Or how about smarter reminders? What if on my device I could say “Hey Cortana, When Steve gets home, remind him to take the chicken out of the freezer.”? Or what if I said “Hey Cortana, when I get home, tell Natasha I’m home safe and I had a great evening.” You know how I can set reminders for when I talk to people? What if Cortana could do that for me? If I say “Hey Cortana, The next time my mom calls, tell her I’ll call her back later.”. Cortana can send my mother a text message saying just that. She could even request Cortana to set a reminder to call her back when I have time available (Based not on what my mother knows but from what Cortana knows from my calendar) or when I get home.

You can make Skype look great Microsoft. No one doubted that. But Skype needs to be useful. Not just pretty.

Kot Prada

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Nov 5, 2016
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It takes FOREVER to load on my Lumia 950 XL.
It loads in a moment on my 950 XL. Much faster, than WhatsApp or Telegram, which can take 1-2 seconds for cold load.
It is for me right now. I have also WhatsApp and Telegram, but left them behind, when tried Skype for messaging during few days.

Can't compare to Facebook or Snapchat, since I don't care about fake-social sh*t.


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Dec 27, 2016
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Skype is absolutely brilliant on my 640. It loads quickly and its audiovisual capabilities are far superior to other apps of its kind. It's one of my most frequently used and prized app

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