Everyone knows Skype. It is one of the most widely used communications platforms across the globe. You can use it to talk to grandma or a business partner across the world. Skype is used by hundreds of millions of people across the globe on a wide variety of platforms.
All of these platforms are a headache for Microsoft, so it may be looking to make things easier for itself by launching a new Skype client for all platforms.
The report follows Microsoft’s closure of a Skype office in London and layoffs of 220 employees. Apparently, the decision to shut down the London office was made as the company moves towards a new universal Skype client for all platforms. This does make sense. Skype is currently available as a Universal Windows Platform app for Windows 10, a desktop app for PCs powered by other versions of Windows, as a separate app for iOS and Android, as a Windows Phone app for smartphones powered by Windows Phone 8.1 or lower, as a Modern app for Windows RT and there are even separate apps for macOS and Linux aside from Skype on the web. That is a lot of platforms. A lot of headaches.
If they can make things simpler, that’s great for Microsoft. Reports suggest that Microsoft is developing a new “Skype for Life” client which will be cross-platfrom and compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. It is reportedly being developed at Microsoft HQ in Redmond and now that this is the primary focus for Skype, many of the teams that were working on other versions of Skype are now redundant. So that explains the closure and layoffs in London. Microsoft hasn’t commented on any of this officially, so it is not official just yet.