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No, Skype isn't dead — Microsoft plans to invest in the video conferencing app

Skype
(Image credit: Microsoft)

"Does anyone use Skype anymore?" a cheeky co-worker of mine once asked, poking fun at Skype's falling popularity compared with other video-conferencing platforms, such as Zoom and Teams. But Microsoft isn't giving up on Skype just yet, Neowin reported. 

Skype, owned by Microsoft, isn't gaining as much traction as its competitors, but the Redmond-based tech giant's other video-conferencing platform, Microsoft Teams, is knocking it out of the park.

Microsoft Teams vs. Skype

Microsoft Teams saw a 37% surge in March, hitting 44 million active users. By the end of April, Microsoft reported that Teams was being used by more than 75 million people every day. 

Although Microsoft didn't reveal specific numbers for Skype, like it did for Teams (Skype’s monthly active users has not been updated since August 2015), the Redmond-based giant claimed that Skype also benefited from the office-to-home workforce shift, citing a 70% increase month-over-month in March 2020.

Teams (and other platforms) is conquering Skype in the video-conferencing realm, but Skype is staying afloat enough to give Microsoft sufficient hope for future growth.

"We’re continuing to invest in Skype," Jeff Teper, CVP for Microsoft 365, told VentureBeat in an interview. "It’s growing through all this. You’ll see some new features. You’ll see Skype and Teams interoperate. As Teams lands with consumers and does more things, I think people will pick Teams. But we’re not going to be heavy-handed about this. People love Skype. And so, we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves here."

Microsoft's future plans with Teams and Skype

Teper added that Microsoft plans to take a page out of Facebook's playbook in its methodology of creating tools that interlink properties, such as Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. "We'll have [Skype and Microsoft Teams] interoperate, but we're going to continue to show love to the Skype customer base," Teper said.

In other words, Microsoft doesn't intend to kill Skype; it will simply leverage Team's skyrocketing popularity to brighten Skype's spotlight by intertwining both platforms.

In March interview with VentureBeat, a Microsoft spokesperson insinuated that the company plans to continue marketing Teams as a chat-based workplace for users seeking remote work solutions that can help organize their tasks, assignments and data with their colleagues. Skype, on the other hand, is a "basic" chat and video-calling platform that caters to users' personal life.

It may seem like Skype's days are numbered as Zoom, Teams and Google Meet take center stage, but Microsoft is optimistic about Skype's value as the global workforce adapts to a new work-from-home rhythm.