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Following negative response to redesign, Skype team says it is listening

Microsoft recently rolled out a complete redesign of the Skype app (for Android and iOS, at least), and the reaction has been less than stellar so far. If you check out recent reviews on the Google Play store (opens in new tab), for example, opinions have skewed, overwhelmingly negative. Our own poll on the subject was less negative, but still mixed, to say the least. Thankfully for those less than pleased with the changes, Microsoft says it is listening.

In a recent post (opens in new tab) on the Skype blog, the Skype team assures users that it has "been listening, updating, and responding to your feedback." As part of that process, the team has worked to reintroduce requested features like status display on the home screen and native sharing capabilities. In response to feedback, the team has worked on more color options and themes, as well as tweaks to the interface to "improve legibility and to make it easier to navigate and access your conversations."

For better or worse, it sounds like the radical redesign that the update introduced is here to stay. That certainly won't be reassuring for some, but it's still a positive sign that the Skype team is taking feedback in stride and making an effort to course-correct with requested features.

As for Windows users, the refreshed design still hasn't arrived. The Windows 10 app did recently receive an update that brought some design tweaks and added message reactions, but the overall design is roughly the same as before. As per original reveal post (opens in new tab), both Windows and Mac users should expect to see the design overhaul arrive within the "next few months."

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

84 Comments
  • Its typical Microsoft for you, change stuff that does not need to be changed without any market research or user focus groups to first gather feedback. Then get your iOS and Android store reviews trashed and then lie that you are 'listening' and will address feedback, but in fact you have zero intention to do so and will at most make very minor tweaks. Not even gonna go into the fact that Skype on Win10Mobile has just been abandonen and Skype on the most used Microsoft mobile platform, i.e. WP8.1 has been discontinued.  
  • They had a public beta of the new app for months before it was released...
  • Microsoft: We only listen to feedback when we did a terrible mistake. 
  • But ... the app on W10M has actually improved ...
  • just come to LINE app and see what you've been missing all these years. Their app on W10 is actually awesome and on-par with iOS
  • and they also have the app on Windows 10 Mobile.
  • I actually like where Skype is on W10M and I don't want the Skype that's on Android. All we need is an option to customize color theme and maybe transparent tile.
  • typical comment
  • yep
  • I have like 150+ contacts and sometime it's a real pain to look through all of them just to find the one that I need and to check is he/she/it online. Why can't we sort contacts by Online status in 2017?
  • Because being online is not longer of much relevance. The main problem in the past was that Skype was based on P2P tech and therefore the other person needed to be online when you communicate. However, now with Skype having moved to cloud tech, its not so much of an issue. However, if you want to call someone, which is the core feature, then it is useful. But for texts its irrelevant.
  • yes! thank you for saying that. But the duplicate contact thing definitely needs to be fixed it it hasn't already yet
  • At one point I've had 14 duplicate of the same contact, in my People app (because of Skype's duplication issue).
  • I knew i couldn't have been the only one who gets it. Even for calls though, just like any other time, there is no practical difference between someone not being online and someone not answer a phone call. It's 2017, Skype is cloud based, and online status is not needed if the person is a Skype user. All online status would do is divert the caller to try a different form of communication, when in the practical sense if I am already a Skype user, i would be "online" if i wanted to be reached in the first place. "these" fans are the reason Microsoft can't win in consumer businesses. Life moves but enthusiasts don't want change
  • My Contacts list is still littered with dozens of duplicates, as it has been for years. It confuses everyone in my circle.
  • Skype's condition is unfortunate to say the least. Out of all of Microsoft's departments and teams Skype is without a doubt the most misguided and confused. They struggle constantly to find their place in the market. In fact, they struggle to remember what makes Skype special in the first place. I hope the restructuring that Microsoft is doing internally finds its way to the Skype team. Microsoft has a lot of internal teams that kinda do their own thing and Skype's thing doesn't work. And hasn't for a long time. Also unfortunate is the fact that I believe Windows 10's current Skype design, although not perfect, is far better than the redesigned app.
  • But remember what makes Skype special in the beginning is not the same now anymore, everyone has calling and video, so why should Skype stay the same and be overrun by the competition? I think its important to look to the future and try new things. I mean they did have a public beta of their new design for several months. Although they should refine the app a little more next time to include all the features as before. That shouldn't happen.
  • Sure, don't stagnate. But at the same time, don't get rid of features that those few regular Skype users that still use the product actually find useful. And don't break the most basic of functionality to the point that even technical people struggle to use it without having to pause to think how to accomplish something that used to be easy enough for a 2 year old to do. Case in point, on my xbox, I used to be able to simply say "Xbox, call Gloria", and voila, it'd start calling my mom on Skype and zoom the camera in and follow me around naturally. Now, I have to say "Hey Cortana, launch Skype". Then I have to wait about 2-3 minutes while it says "One Moment", then it comes up with recent conversations, and I have to find the xbox controller to navigate the app because all voice controls have been removed. Then, after calling, the camera never quite focuses the picture far enough in, so I have to switch to manual zoom and effectively play this "game" to zoom and pan the picture to where I want it (and then I stay in one place). After a few minutes, my mom's picture freezes and I have to ask her to stop and restart it. This doesn't happen with any calls to any non-UWP version of Skype. So going back to the original comment. If you are going to add new features, don't add them at the expense of the only features that people want to use your app for in the first place.
  • Cortana in general on Xbox is a huge step back in usability compared to the original Xbox voice commands. Cortana has gotten worse over time. Same could be said about Windows Phone 8. Those features such as Rooms, Me, Kids Corner, etc., all gone. Those features plus the Live Tiles is what brought me back to the platform back then. Now gone.. Features i used all the time.
  • To be fair, a lot of that isn't necessarily "Skype removing features" though...
  • i really like the skype in win10 and win10m. Finally a unified version.... finally
  • The Skype team should just leave MSFT and start a new "disruptive" messaging platform.
  • Business doesn't work like that. Skype can't leave Microsoft, and even if they could it wouldn't help Skype at all. These issues are internal Skype issues, not inherently Microsoft. It is partially Microsoft's fault for not rectifying Skype's leadership issues and misguided goals, but ultimately it is the Skype team itself that is making these mistakes. I imagine that if Skype truly found a way to leave Microsoft, they would be financially bankrupt within a year.
  • I meant the people working at Skype can quit and just start their own business.
  • Honestly that would probably just carry the same leadership problems over. And there's also the financial issues. It takes a lot to get a major messaging app up and running.
  • Some former members of the Skype team, including the original developer of Skype did leave and create their own messaging platform...its called "Wire" and it is pretty good.
  • power to the people power 
  • My ass "you're listening". If you clowns at Microosft/Skype were listening, then Skype would have been an option to be the default video call app on your own damn platform. I cannot stress how mbarrassing 90% of the crap you do is. I just don't understand how you go to work and stuff like I just mentioned goes left undone for YEARS and you actually feel you are doing your job. Microsoft needs a major house cleaning (firings) starting with all the leadership, and mainly the idiot at the top.
  • They need to start over. Hire whole new team and get rid of the name Skype.
  • Skype hasn't been cloud based for years and the p2p system for default video calls would have worked well reliably though.
  • I actually like the new skype on iOS and am actually looking forward to them refining this version for UWP ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I did have some weeeiiirrrrddd issues when it first released. Like conversations I deleted years and years ago suddenly reappearing. It does need the status and sharing features fixed, as mentioned in the article. I'd like a "dark mode". But things like sharing a quick video clip is actually easier. Though all of this is yet another example of the Skype team working in a bubble. We've been seeing this for years. All app-criticisms aside, it still seems like Skype has yet to properly integrate into Microsoft's vision and their products.
  • I don't know when they introduced it to the Skype for windows 10 mobile, but we can now share images to the app...
  • Like last week
  • MS will release one day a guide "How to kill big brands" with case studies like Nokia, Zune, Skype...
  • Lol!
  • I've received the update, but still don't have reactions on my 950 XL... Update: Nevermind 😂
  • I am very confused.  How do they mess this up?  Don't they get feedback? Skype was huge when it first came out - how did they squander that momentum. Just copy Whatsapp!!!!  FaceTime!!! SnapChat!!!  Whatever it takes.... I just hope now they put in a real effort and improve it - it will show they care and listen...      
  • It wasn't built for mobile, they had to completely rewrite it, however, they had massive infighting between Skype and Lync, coupled with the idiotic team incentive structures, they didn't share the code for fear of others being promoted and losing their own jobs.  MS internally are a bit of a mess, they have lost thier 'why' and that comes from strong leadership.
  • Well, then that goes on Nutella again. His lazy, over paid ass should have gotten in there the moment two.division are squabeling and causing an issue with the company. So much crap goes on under him and he just keeps sitting there with that stupid grin that smells of idiocy. This clown has been given more than enough time to do something and it has all been the quick buck in exchange for the companies future health. Kudos you greed imp.
  • But that was before Nadella though
  • Corporate culture within MS has improved under Nadella's leadership. The shift to DevOps internally @ MS has fostered some great synergies between product teams. This wouldn't have happened under Ballmer or anyone else using traditional management techniques.
  • Agreed
  • Well they did with the redesign and people are complaining. Damned if they do, dammed if they don't.
    Most of the complaints have been with direction, from these old enthusiasts who can't cope with change and then wonder why Ms falls in the consumer market
  • They don't even listen to each other, how can they listen to us? - Windows 8 Start button, remember that? I hate saying this, I know how the internal teams think, the utter arrogance across the board and the team leaders disdain for other team leaders, remember Skype team leader v Lync Team leader? Alas, too little too late IMO - Skype is losing market share hand over fist and this 'listening' remark by MS is a knee jerk attempt to hide the fact that they do NOT listen and haven't listened for a long time, but hey, I guess the conversations about who has the best car parked outside amongst staff can carry on!
  • Redesign.. Reboot.. Redesign.. Reboot.. Oh MS..
  • This is like Windows 7 to 8 all over again. I understand that a whole design overhaul should realistically be done all at once *coughFluentDesigncough*, but when it's something this radically different that not only abandons Skype's classic blue scheme, but alienates its look for those who are used to it, it's best to have some research and trials done before bringing it to the masses. Work on it along the way and then when it's ready you can release it. Maybe if Microsoft first brought it to Windows Insiders who literally sign themselves up for these kind of changes and feedback, the backlash would be a lot less harsh. The best people for the job are the ones who actually CARE.
  • They had a beta for months
  • But did they bring it to Windows first......? That's my point. Insiders sign up for early beta testing because they want to see what's in store. They want to help shape the future of Microsoft and Windows. Why are we still so behind when we're the ones who care the most?
  • Windows insiders test pre-release software on windows. The redesign isn't on windows. Therefore, having windows insiders tests is irrelevant for android and ios software. And seeing that they said the redesign would be coming to windows and mac later, there is NO indication that insiders won't test it BEFORE being publically released. And if you're saying this software should release on windows first, windows was the first to receive a redesign with uwp Skype. And then there's also the argument of skype's new cloud base direction has more relevance on mobile devices bc personal computing is now mobile computing. Microsoft's biggest target audience for mobile computing isn't on w10m. It's ios and Android and that's where modern messaging platforms flourish. The same people who are windows insiders are the same people that are the biggest reason Ms fails in the consumer market from an audience pov. These are the ones who don't want changes. For example, w8.1 was genius but Ms had to back track only for its and android to copy later on and get further more "ahead". Then they complain, I'm leaving Windows and go where? Ios or android. Asinine! These are the same people who won't embrace uwp and still think personal computing's main platform is the P.c. Because if they didn't, they would support Microsoft adaptation of their software and services to a mobile focus. They don't. To be honest, i think your emotions got the best of you here and your pulling in emotional turmoil from other circumstances into this one where it doesn't make too much sense.
  • No other circumstance is skewing anything actually, just the pure fact that Microsoft doesn't care enough about their mobile Insiders. And it shows from moves like this. Because realistically we'd be the ones who would give the most constructive criticism on the changes coming to Skype before their reputation gets ruined by the public. It's what we've been doing since the Insider program was a thing. The people you claim are the reason Microsoft "fails in the consumer market" have nothing to do with Microsoft's negligence. They're doing this to themselves. I understand the need to get the most amount of feedback, and that feedback will come from iOS and Android. But it's about the quality of the feedback, not the quantity. I'm sure they got plenty of people saying "it sucks" or "I hate the new UI" with no REAL feedback that will benefit them. At the end of the day, the UI change should have came to us first rather than last. All this backlash is doing is turning people on competing platforms away from Skype.
  • Have you read the comments here?! "Us" are the very ones saying "it sucks" and "i hate the new ui" because they are comparing it to what Skype USED TO BE and don't like that a new paradigm is being ushered in for Skype.
    They got the feedback from the beta that they had for people who choose to test beta software!
    How is that being negligent?
    They tested it then release as with most software.
    You're just butthurt that they didn't test tested ios and android software with windows insiders as if that makes sense to do. It makes 0...ZERO...ZIP sense!!!
    The "public" your speaking off is the old that cause Ms to fail.
    Why in 2017, does a modern messaging platform need online status? If you notice, skype is the ONLY one being called for that. Ever think why? It's Ms's insiders/fans/enthusiasts that think that's still needed bc that's what Skype always has had before; stuck in old thinking.
    The general public doesn't complain about half the things that the next Skype has that is a comparable feature in Snapchat, or, another modern platform bc it's not a problem. People don't tend to leave negative reviews when things aren't a problem. Look at the number of users vs the number of complainer. I guarantee the negative reviews have a minority percentage compared to the total number of users of the new Skype.
  • Last time I checked, online status was taken away in the new Skype update, no? And as far as I know Windows users don't have the new Skype update. Your comment makes absolutely no sense. We can't be the ONLY ones saying the update sucks, this article wouldn't exist if that were the case. All I'm saying is that the consumers under Microsoft's ecosystem probably know what's best for them better than those who are outside of it.
    You're sending novels with horrible punctuation and spelling that don't send any point across except the fact that you get off on insulting other people's opinions. At this point it seems as if your emotions are getting the best of you because you can't put this to rest. I stand by my opinion. If you don't agree that's your own issue, go find something else to bicker about.
  • Omg! That's my point!
    You must not have seen the reviews and complaints. There's... It is apparent you don't know what you are talking about.
  • You are making no sense lol. How do I not know what I'm talking about in regards to my own opinion? I like the app update. As for the Windows users who don't? Their opinion doesn't matter anyway because Microsoft isn't looking at our feedback. They're looking at iOS users' feedback which is where I don't agree with the direction they took in releasing this update. It should have came to us first, because our feedback is of much better value than iOS users stuck in an ecosystem that already has a flourishing messaging platform built in. WE know what is best for Skype.
  • I like it and it's a great app. These people need to chill
  • Thank you
  • reminds me of the Xbox forums.. The absolute worst forums design I've ever seen....
  • The redesign looks great.
    It's like Skype wants to be WhatsApp wants to be Facebook wants to be Instagram wants to be SnapChat. I'm just glad I still have BBM when I want to functionally communicate with others...
  • Since the firmware update on my X3 all text messages show up in skype rather then as the good old text message. I guess this is MS force feeding me skype. You guys have this too?
  • You can turn off Skype phone integration via settings, I guess.
  • Yep, found it. Thanks.
  • To be honest I do hope they never bring this new design to Windows.
  • I think they will, because they are a bunch of brainless morons...usual for Microsoon.
  • I like the redesign changes on Windows - life is constant change. Just adopt to it :-)
  • The NEW Skype keeps crashing on my x86 based Android phone: Zenfone 2.
  • Backlash aside, yesterday I Skyped with my sister for the 1st time since the overhaul (my sis lives in Surinam where the internet connection is mostly crappy) and to my surprise the video and audio quality was SUBLIME. It sure has been quite a while I have Skyped with such amazing quality. Image quality was very very sharp, audio was as clear as ever. Wayyyy better than Whatsapp video calling, that's fo damn sure.
  • How about listening to feedback from WM10? 80% of the time I still can't send my sms messages, and after the update I am stuck with the conversation list on the left side because it doesn't collapse anymore, which means that I'm can only use half of the width of my screen to actually type and read messages. Not to mention it takes ages to switch to, even on my 950 xl. smh
  • Agreed.  I have an issue with messages being sorted by timestamp.  Repsonses appear before the senders SMS, etc.
    It's not limited to the phone client though.  I have friends on PC who experience it as well. Where I live, we do not change for daylight savings.  Mid conversation, my friend had to scroll an hour back to see the new responses from his chat partner. Messages should display FIFO, not by timestamp. 
  • People always complain about changes. Nothing new here.
    I already been playing with Skype on Android and, to me, it was a very nice update - still has some space to make it better, but I like it.
    Oh, it's pretty easy to use. I really don't understand why some users complain about lack of usability.
  • They're old
  • Its slightly off topic, but it would be better if MS had provided an option to finally set skype as the default app for video calling in windows 10 mobile instead of a design update
  • It would be better if MSFT didn't disable Skype for older phones. My Lumia 1520 still runs WP8.1 flawlessly, while WP10 overheats it at any occasion. But now I cant use Skype. Thats real disrespect to the loyal customers of used-to-be-flagship models. And a dissapointment...
  • Skype.. Hahahahahahhaha. That worthless app where you can't even delete a conversation? Just laughable! Years pass by and it will never be addressed. Please get the people in charge of Skype development fired!
  • Seriously, genius? You don't know how to delete a conversation in Skype? You've put your ignorance on display for the world to see. You just tap and hold a conversation, and a context menu is presented that includes the option to delete it. Boy, that's some tricky stuff right there.
  • You must be the dumbo of the week because that option is not there and has never been there. You can delete sms messages in skype, but not true skype messages. You can hide them though, or remove all conversations at once in the desktop app. You made yourself ridiculous.
  • I like the redesign on my android device for the most part. I just wish there was more integration on W10Mobile. Edit: Why can't there be a handoff feature on Windows 10 clients. Answer a Skype call on your phone, walk to your pc, open Skype, and then transfer the call to the PC client. 🤷
  • I just want them to finally enable conversation, calls, and text history deletion on Windows 10 phones. Currently we can only hide them but not delete them. Meanwhile, iOS and Android users CAN delete their history from their phones (and have been for a long time). So why is Msft deliberately not enabling this feature for loyal Windows phone users?
  • because they don't give a damn about windows phone...haven't you learned this by now?
  • To be honest, I don't mind the design - it's just the lack of pre-existing features is the problem. Microsoft's people should be smart enough to know that they can't keep being last out of the gate with a product that has less features than both the competition AND their previous version of it. This has already happened with Skype four or five times seemingly in the past five years with ditching Messenger, the bolted on Skype desktop app, then the WinRT app, the new desktop app, the weird Message/Video/Phone W10 apps, and then the current UWP.  Skype people: Stop making the same mistakes ever 12 months - it doesn't make you look good and it also shows a fundimental misunderstanding and ignorance of your existing users, if not outright contempt for us. The fact is, I have no reason to use Skype other than on my desktop - and while I happily use Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger - the only reason I used Skype on my phone previously was because it was a Lumia and so I used the SMS Relay. Now I'm on a Galaxy S8 and can't do that - I've not opened Skype on my phone since installing it to look at the new design. Turns out Facebook Messenger can SMS Relay on Android, and that would actually be more useful to me than SMS through Skype, which at this point I can't do even if I wanted to!
  • The biggest issue I have with the app is the horible icons. Is it a camera? WTF is that?
  • I think continuing with the latest ignorant design in spite of what customers are telling is the exact OPPOSITE of listening to users.  
  • This is basically the Talko app they aquired from Ray Ozzie a couple years back....no one seems to be recognizing that fact. https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-acquires-talko-business-messagi...  
  • I'd have no problem with the redesign if it hadn't introduced some bugs and removed features ... oh well ...
  • Looks sleek and modern, but I think the market is already saturated with Snapchat-copycats. How many apps could people possibly handle and know to use when they all do the same thing? With other apps building in video calling functionality, it would have been nice if Microsoft would have just kept improving the Skype experience to keep it the "go to" video conferencing app...not destroy the fundamental feature that made it what it is.