Skype botches update at the worst possible time

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The demand for remote-friendly platforms surged amid the coronavirus outbreak, and as a result, Skype has seen an uptick in users seeking videoconferencing technology. Unfortunately, Microsoft (which owns Skype) botched a recent Skype update when the world needs it the most, TechRadar reports.

A Twitter user called the Windows 10 Skype update an "obliteration," claiming that the new Skype version no longer includes People app integration, Outlook syncing, automatic Microsoft Account sign-ins or app pausing (Skype remaining idle in the background).

There are two versions of Skype: a desktop app that can be downloaded from the Skype website and a pre-installed Skype program for Windows 10 users; The latter is what Twitter user Florian B is up in arms about.

Thurrott claimed that there are additional absent features: "Also missing: inline replies in notifications and Share integration."

The Windows 10 default Skype program is known for featuring better Windows 10 integration than its web-installed counterpart. But with Microsoft's new updates to Skype, the application is ditching many of its well-received features.

The regressive update may be due to Microsoft's move to phase out Universal Windows Platform (UWP), a Microsoft-created API that helps developers launch cross-platform apps that run on Windows 10.

Italian tech blog Aggiornamenti Lumia pointed out that instead of using UWP, Microsoft is transitioning into a cross-platform framework called Electron. The conversion hasn't been smooth, but it will allow developers to optimize Skype compatibility for platforms beyond Windows 10, such as Chrome OS. 

Microsoft's unpopular tweaks are ill-timed. As work-from-home employees grow more dependent on videoconferencing, coronavirus-affected workers are flocking to Skype. Hopefully, the Redmond-based tech giant will recoup Skype's feature losses with better, revamped enhancements in the future.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!