Skype for Windows 8.1

Microsoft is making a big change to its Skype strategy on the Windows platform. On July 7, the current "Modern" version of Skype that was first released for Windows 8, and later became the default messaging app for Windows 8.1, will no longer be available. Instead, users of that version will be redirected to the current desktop Windows Skype client.

Why did Microsoft make this pretty significant change? In a blog post, the company stated:

"With the upcoming release of Windows 10 for PCs, it makes sense to use the Skype application optimized for mouse and keyboards use, capable of doing touch as well rather than 2 separate applications performing the same function."

There is one exception to this change. Windows RT device owners, such as the Surface RT and Surface 2 tablets, will not see the "Modern" Skype client shut down, and will still be able to use it. Windows 8 and 8.1 owners will be redirected to download the current desktop Skype client starting July 7. That version got revamped on October 2014 with a design that has some elements of the Modern client.

Microsoft also commented on the status of Skype for Windows 10, hinting strongly that the new Messaging client won't be ready for when the OS officially launches on July 29:

"You may be thinking: what about Skype built into Messaging, Phone and Skype video coming to Windows 10? Don't worry we will begin rolling the apps to get your feedback later this year. This way if you want to quickly make a call or send a message you can use task-based apps and for those of you power users who like the advantages of the all in one app, you can pick what's right for you."

Source: Microsoft