Changes to the foundation of Skype will finally allow chat messages to sync across devices

Skype is Microsoft’s messaging platform and has been around much longer than iMessage, Google Chat, WhatsApp, and others. But it’s not exactly on par with features and reliability as some of the others. It looks like Skype is about to get a lot better in the near future with some architecture changes to the core of Skype. Details after the break.

If you’re like us, you’ve got Skype running on phones, desktops, tablets, and more. It’s a fine instant and video messaging platform, but can be improved in many areas. One of those areas is the inability to reliably sync across devices. You may have experienced situations where one device is out of sync with a conversation. Thankfully, Skype will be addressing those shortcomings with some future changes.

The Skype team is working on synchronizing your chat message status across all devices. This feature will begin rolling out over various Skype clients in the coming months. When the Windows Phone, desktop, and Windows 8 version of Skype receive this update we will of course inform you.

There are various other improvements coming to Skype. The ability to sync messages isn’t the end of your syncing future. For example, any “missed calls” will also sync across devices. Skype is also in the process of moving from their original peer-to-peer (P2P) foundation powered by the desktops of yore to one that is cloud based. The benefit of the Skype Cloud is improved battery life for devices and better connections, at least according to the Skype team. It also allows for new features like sending video messages, which recently came to Windows Phone 8.

What other fundamental improvements do you want to see with Skype? Sound off below.

Source: Skype, Via: TechCrunch


Reader comments

Changes to the foundation of Skype will finally allow chat messages to sync across devices


Yea I really just want Skype to be the iMessage of Windows Phone. It needs to be the chat service of WP to the point where its just foolish not to use it because it's that convenient.

Yeah, and it should be possible to integrate totally in the OS, and there were rumors about it pre-WP8 if I'm not mistaken.

I've been saying this forever. How come shlubs like you and me can see this what it easily needs to become, but billion dollar genius CEO's take 8 years to come to terms with the obvious

cause theres so many obvious things, so little time? And for microsoft, theres the fundemental "Developers, Developers, Developers!" thing too. And the fact that CEOs dont do the developement, so while a CEO may find something obvious, the developers may find something else a more pressing issue/feature.

Meh, the ink on that deal was just starting to dry two years ago. It takes a while to truly merge in a billion dollar company into another billion dollar company. That said, they still don't seem like they're in a hurry to get things moving.

yeah because programming its just a push of a button and everything is read /s
do you think they are not doing anything all their days?
retarded people like you are so funny.... I bet you are the ones that think everything, even money comes from trees.
saying its not the same as doing it... I mean, if its so easy why dont you try to make your own OS? again, retarded people like you who love to talk blablabla, dont know what it takes to make an operating system. but still talk crap... please do a favor and try to go to school and try to educate yourself.

I think both you and Dustin are correct. Ultimately, it's all about good leadership of the "CEO's" and the management structure of MS. They are the ones that hire the developers, though not directly of course. There are many talented developers available and MS is swimming in cash so I think it is quite clear it is the fault of management. This is proven I think with the departure of Ballmer and perhaps even The Bill himself.

Face palm. Which clearly shows you know nothing about management nor development. You've told someone to be civil above yet you make these wildly speculative statements that just depress anyone with the slightest clue of how development and infrastructure improvements work. Can you imagine the number of people, meetings, servers, commercials, testing, support documentation .... The list goes on. If you believe that updating a 1 year old acquisitions service is a simple management issue then you just should not be posting your point of view as it has no basis in fact,reality or experience its just hot air. Not being mean, but just like my post its if no value. Only post if its funny, helps or has some useful fact in it. What you BELIEVE isn't of value. Apologies.

I told someone to be civil because they were not being so by calling someone names and from the tone of their comment. There is nothing uncivil in my post. I politely stated my POV. What specifically did I state that was "wildly speculative"? If you don't think that management is ultimately responsible for whom/what they manage either in business or military, then it is you who apparently knows nothing.

Btw, I also stated that I "thought" something, but I suspect that what others think or believe that differs from what you do you don't consider of value. Oh, and "Only post if its funny, helps or has some useful fact in it."...I'm quite sure this must fit your definition as well.

So, your point is MS don't have talented developers... Who the hell is thn behind WP, Windows, SQL server, Sharepoint, Skydrive, Dynamics, .Net, wcf, azure, and the list goes on...i believe some bunch of idiots, correct? Think 1000 times before you post anything or just talk on the topic where you have zero knowledge. You have no clue what SDLC means, do you?

I've been hoping for this ever since Microsoft bought Skype. And the best part is we could still message computer/tablet users on any platform that runs Skype, not only other Windows Phones.

I'd love this too. I read that integrated Skype is a non-starter for cell carriers. Not sure why, though, because you have to pay for minutes anyway.

this is what im hoping for in the end, but lets say we do eventually have skype as the imessage for WPs, W8 and freakin awesome if somehow xbox too. but for WPs i would not use this at all because i know no one with WP lol.

that's already here... we'll I think; my phone sync messages everytime that I log into chat in messaging hub.

I don't care what they do with Skype, i just want it to be a good experience calling someone. I swear my phone hangs up every 20sec when calling WP8 to WP8, with no difference to WIFI or H+

sync msg is not primary need. MS need to think about a feature which people just read and says wow this will be awesome to have. I don't understand how hard it would be for Microsoft to make Skype like imessage and facetime. Why do you have to login when u are using it on your own device. Think, there are millions of windows devices and if you can msg and videocall each other without login in, it will create strongest ecosystem. Hope MS will understand this.

Moving it all to the cloud also makes it easier for the NSA et al to listen in. Just sayin here. I guarantee you people will be insisting that is the reason behind the change.

Indeed. I can't imagine any benefits of anything over p2p connections. Switching to cloud will definitely result in more narrow bandwidth.

I saw the title to the article and the first thought that crossed my mind was "So they're changing the foundation to Windows Live Messenger?!"

A very frustrating thing is that when you are using Skype/Facebook messenger on the desktop and with every message your phone also rings. There should be a way to control this thing. Either the notifications should switch off automatically for all the other clients while using one client, or some other way. Syncing messages is good, but one-by-one is very frustrating.

Not going to have sleepless nights over this. Next real feature would probably be 36 months away. File exchange capabilities would be pushed back to the next immediate millennia.

Windows Live Messenger was perfect.  It just worked flawlessly.  It synced convos, you had more status options and it showed accross all the online services, the IM was fast and beautiful, the emoticons and custom emoticons were cool, facebook just worked perfect and your contacts and connected services sycned nicely accross everything.
With Skype it was a major backturn and it's not properly integrated into the ecosystem at all.  
I'm really hopefully this Skype foundation change will finally bring it up to par (and even BETTER) than WLM.

If they get rid of the messenger, then they better make Skype able to use Facebook chat and others on every device

I'm confused... I thought it already did that perfectly? There were sync issues when it was first released on WP7, but soon fixed and working dandy since

dont get me wrong, but i dont understand why people use skype at all now
as an IM. there are tons of much better apps when it comes to both featurs and reliability
and as a VOIP, apps like tango and viber are at least on bar with it
microsoft may see a big demise in skype marketshare if it dont act FAST

Maybe you dont use Skype that much but Skype is years ahead of the other VOIP clients in terms of functionality, call clarity and video quality

People go where their friends are. Everyone used to use MSN so that's what I used most. Now everyone is on Skype. The Viber app doesn't even load on WP7 and they don't look like they're in a hurry to fix it. The most important feature for me as an IM is desktop support, as I rarely use my phone for IM... I always switch to SMS when I'm out

I have too agree with some of the above posters that better syncing is important, but I would like to see file sharing capabilities included so that WP8 users have the same ability on their phones as they do on their desktops and more importantly, give us even more of a reason to use Skype more than Whatsapp. Putthing things like sending your location would make Skype the go to service I think.

The Symbian version on 3uk calls come in via a standard mobile call and text messages worked seemlessly. So why is it so hard for Microsoft to get skype working better on our devices.

  I don't want a feature so much as I want this update to be released on WP8 FIRST!! But since we all know that's not going to happen, I would like to see it released at the same time as other platforms.

For me the most annoying thing about using Skype on my phone and my PC is that it's not able to discern if messages are being sent from different devices. If I switch to my PC after a convo on my phone, the phone doesn't notice the additional messages are being sent from another device, so it pings and vibrates and toasts every time I get a new response. The phone should realise it's not 'on the front line' when a message is sync'ed, sent from the same account it's logged in to, but from a different machine, and not resume notifications till I next interact with skype on the phone again.

Is this going to improve with this development or are we talking about other less complicated behaviour? My experience is that my devices sync just fine when they acquire a connection, so if the above isn't what's going to improve then I'm unsure what to expect.

Bake this in to WP so I can hold my start button down and say "Skype John doe" and BOOM! Skypetime!

Actually, if they bothered to, it doesnt even have to be baked in, they can just add some voice commands to the current app.

Well what I would like is if the app would start faster. Whether I'm on my laptop, surface, or phone, when I'm getting a call and I hit answer and it takes a while to laid and then goes to the home screen and by then I have missed a call. I have always wondered why when someone is calling it can't just load into the call and already have the video start running.

Thank the heavens!! I was so tired of having to switch between my phone and computer because the messages were out of sync. Some would show on the computer and not the phone and some would show on the phone and not computer and it was hell!

Skype can't even make a good call on my wp8 or surface rt. All the other person hears is loud squealing in the audio. If I use Skype on my wife's iPad to the same person its fine!! :( I'd like to see that fixed 1st.

I dislike the fact that when someone calls, my Win8 PC, Win8 PC Desktop Skype, Surface RT and WP8 all ring. In the same room at the same time (ok I guess although some proximity silencing would be nice). But when I answer on my PC, the other devices ring for an age afterwards.  Ringing needs to stop instantly a call is answered.

About freakin time. This is not awesome, this is obvious and users expect systems like these should work like this today.

Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks the WP app should let me listen to a freakin voicemail!

That's splendid! I just sweared because of lack of syncing! And that battery life. (which is around 50% per hour on my lumia 920)

What I really miss is "do not disturb" and OFFLINE options. I mean, I know we live in a digital era, everyone's always online but I don't always want to be available to everyone! I know I can set my status to invisible, but that's been unreliable, often switching back to available. Yes, you can log out from WP app but again, not a solution, just a workaround. You can't even do that in W8 metro app. I miss the good ol' offline option. :)  

Putting it on invisible works perfectly for me...It syncs my status over all my devices. It's pretty neat.
It's a shame it doesn't work for you. Another reason why they should really give SKYPE some attention and update it.

They really removed the "Do not disturb" and "Offline" modes? (im on Linux, Skype developers dont love us enough to toss an update every other year) Thoes are the only two that turn off the beeping . . . that would drive me nuts.


Edit: Now that I think about it my phone doesnt actually have thoes features I just disabled notification popups because its annoying when I have a long convo on my computer and leave it in invisible. These stats levels really need to sync across devices tho, I hated having to hunt downt he one device that wont let me show as offline.

I just want them to offer free SkypeIn/Out, like Google Voice. I would love to ditch GV for something that would allow me to use a virtual number on my phone with VOIP calls (when I had an Android, GV was great for that)

Could we just get messenger back and throw Skype out the window? Pretty please? Or if we're hell bent on sticking to this abomination, how about they make the account transition seamless? Srsly, merging my Skype and Microsoft accounts is such a lame experience, I opted out twice...
Give us online states per group. Messenger had this, so I could shut colleagues off while at home. Skype is missing this heavily.
Oh, and how about getting rid of ads on windows versions? Quite frankly it's annoying as gets.
Finally: integrate it into WP is properly!!! Messenger integration was awesome and then they axed it for this bolted-on, second-hand experience.

Mms!!!! And faster messaging without the delays. Also not letting skype double ur contacts and override the ones uve made.

Anyone got this problem where a Skype video calls comes in. Both your desktop & phone start ringing. You pick up the desktop line but the phone goes on ringing till you have to stop it manually. Paul Thurrott had this problem. I think he still does.

This is how the p2p system works, when you awnser on one device the other isnt told untill the call ends, if skype moves towards cloud integration that will . . . should be fixed.

Full integration in messaging hub and phone. Ability to set online statuses per client (FB, Skype, LinkedIn, etc.) and accepting Skype calls when on WiFi or H+/LTE. It would be best if Microsoft released a clear API/something for the messaging hub that developers can use to implement their service. This way the hubs would finally reach their full potential.

How about better integration with the Windows peoplehub? This is a must-have feature if Skype is to be the core chat application.
Right now I can add people's emailadres in my contactlist but I only see them on Skype when they are on messenger (which is never these days as messenger is dead). I then have to add them to the skype as well in order to actually use skype chat and videocalling. However this doubles the contact in Skype. I then have the same person's old messenger profile (tied to the peoplehub) and their skype account of the same emailadres sitting right next to eachother in Skype...
Back in the peoplehub you don't see the skype profile, so you also can't merge these accounts. Basically Skype is acting like a poor thirdparty app that can import contacts from the contactlist but not much else. This makes Skype a terrible and confusing experience. I can understand where it goes wrong but its driving my sister insane, to the point where she hates Windows 8.
So fix this first, oh and dont forget to bring back facebook chat integration! You can't just remove a feature that made people buy the damned OS in the first place!!!!!!

Having it work seamlessly across platforms would definitely be a big plus.

One of the disappointments of the current arrangement of Skype within Microsoft is the seemingly lack of collaboration between the OS and products such as Lync which has some of the exact same issues.

I should take heart that Microsoft claim the future will be cloud development not on premise which is a mill stone around the necks of developers when it comes to rapid improvements.

Amen to that, im running Linux and having Skype 4.2 sucks allot, its not even stable enough to awnser calls. Right now Skype is the most used but how long before a 100% multiplatform product like Hangouts takes the title?

I am schocked! Because -not a wp8 user- i thought that everything on skype is synchronised - all chat messages on wphones and tablets and pc? WTF? So when I write messages on phone - i will not be able to view a history on pc or tablet?


Yeahhh... And what's about video call's on Windows 8 last day that was disabled on the desktop devices like mobile devices. That it's quality from the Microshit.

Does anyone believe Skype will cross all platforms flawlessly? It needs to be integrated into Ms so it can replace phone key and leave choice to user.

"Skype is also in the process of moving from their original peer-to-peer (P2P) foundation powered by the desktops of yore to one that is cloud based."
Translation: They're giving up on the P2P architecture, the only unique and defining characteristic of Skype, and switching to the same traditional client-server approach that everyone else has used for decades.
"The benefit of the Skype Cloud is improved battery life for devices and better connections, at least according to the Skype team."
Translation: Skype will no longer keep your device awake and use up your bandwidth in order to provide service to other Skype users.  And you'll no longer end up with dialup-speed file transfers because you got routed through some other poor sap's overloaded connection.

I'd like to see them improve the video call quality and reliability.  FIgure out a better way to reliably and efficiently compress and decompress high quality video so that the picture is better than any other service (assuming same network connections). 

Off Topic: I cannot or don't know how to copy & paste text from the skype app in my Lumia 521. I want to copy an address sent to me and paste it in Maps but it won't allow me to select/highlight the address. Did anyone got it to work on their phones? TIA.