Skype's Jeff Kunins details upcoming messages fix, teases "fun" things for Windows Phone 8

Microsoft has confirmed with The Verge that the company is aware of issues with current Skype apps and has been working to address said problems, as well as introduce new features. We've previously looked at how the Skype team will be looking at finally making messages synchronise across multiple platforms, but it's positive to see other issues being targeted.

What kind of issues are consumers experiencing with the service? They include, but are not limited to, missed messages, messages not synchronising, calls continuing to ring on hardware even after picking up on a device, and old messages creeping up from the past. Skype product manager Jeff Kunins said in an interview that the issues plaguing the Skype service stem from Microsoft's transition from peer-to-peer networks to the cloud.

"It’s not that we’ve been trying our best to be amazing at chat for 10 year and sucking at it, it’s that we’ve been doing a great job doing what we were born to do and now people want more out of us and we’re making the investments to expand and be great at that too. We’re not there yet, but we will be."

According to The Verge report, Kunins demonstrated future versions of Windows Phone and Windows apps, which correctly synchronised messages and only fired up notifications on the device in use - we're almost certain you've encountered the situation where multiple Windows based products chime with Skype notifications at the same time. Message sync will also include read and unread states.

Unfortunately, while the updates sound great, Kunins couldn't provide a date as to when we can expect to see these upgrades rolled out to respective stores. Also, the bug seeing Skype calls continuing to ring even after that very call has been taken on a Windows device is currently being looked into. It's interesting how Kunins explains how difficult this particular issue is to address.

"That’s just a fun bug we’re working on. It’s one of those that seems like it should be trivial, but it’s actually quite hard especially on some platforms like Windows 8 or on the web."

More improvements for Skype for Windows Phone will arrive in 2014, but the Skype team remains hard at work to implement "fun" things in Windows Phone 8.1. That all said, what would you like to see Microsoft do with Skype?

Source: The Verge

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

86 Comments
  • About damn time.
  • The one everyone is waiting for...full OS integration with Skype...similar to Apple with FaceTime.
  • Yesssir
  • Yup, this or I'm most likely done with Skype on mobile. It has been way to buggy off and on for me. Plus I for one prefer built in services as opposed to "apps" and all that.   Another thing, they really need to make a way for contacts to be shown by their real names. I have way too many skype contacts by way of facebook who I have no idea who they are because I don't recognize their screen names.
  • The contact nightmare is the worst thing for me. I miss Messenger.
  • I second that. Full integration of Skype on the OS level. Not a separate app. Make Skype calls video/and or audio from contacts. I'm sure carriers won't like it but they are increasing aware hat their money is coming more from data now then ever before.
  • Totally want this full OS integration.
  • This is the only thing I care about. It should be the default messaging service in WP, well after SMS.
  • Definitely agree with this. I would love it if skype chat would get facebook style integration into the SMS conversations. "on Skype" That would be fantastic and all of a sudden they would have a chat client to rival and actually even surpass iMessage and others.
  • Thumbs up!
  • That's what we all are agreeing on. But is there anyone who can whisper it to the right ears? The Verge folks didn't asked the right questions, what most want from Skype !!   Every time I give feedback to Skype, they seem surprised (and clueless)! "That's a cool feature! we will definitely discuss with our team..". But I think those are just the shallow forum moderators. The feedback never get to the right person.. Here is what most people want from Skype (Windows Phone and Windows Store):   - Dialer > Call from Skype (within the dialer; without loading the lazy/bloated Windows Phone's Skype app)   - Messaging Hub > Switch to Skype messaging (within the messaging hub; without loading the lazy/bloated Windows Phone's Skype app)   - Tap+Hold > Share > Skype (from any share menu in the OS then show the list to select which Skype people to share with).   - Screen Sharing   - Ability to edit messages and the editted message marker.   - Send Files (*any file format*).   Give us these six features and then fix whatever you want.
  • I wonder if we compile all these suggestions under the tag #FixSkypeWP and tweet it to Jeff Kunins (@jeffkunins) and Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore), would it make any difference? WindowsPhone uservoice is a long shot.. unless you have couple of thousand votes on your feature request.
  • "That’s just a fun bug we’re working on" It's not that fun for the people that have to deal with it.
  • developers call a bug "fun" when its slightly challenging to fix !!
  • agreed 100%. i don't care how fun it is to fix. it's extremely annoying picking up a skype video call and my desktop pc continues to ring for a good minute after. my god. i love my WP and W8.1 but skype falling this far off is really annoying. google hangouts is so much easier to use for simple video chatting with friends and family.
  • I'm not sure you understand. Calling it fun doesn't mean you're treating lightly. Bugs aren't trivial, and when you admit they aren't trivial, they DEFINITELY aren't simple. You think it isn't fun trying to deal with it? Well considering they all probably use Skype, try having to deal with it AND trying to fix it. Probably a bit worse. I promise, Microsoft doesn't pay the Skype devs to go into the office and laugh about their own personally created bugs :P
  • I love this one!
  • i do understand, and there are a handful of better adjectives to use than the word fun. there isn't anything enjoyable or amusing when i have multiple devices beeping and flashing after i pick up a skype call on my immediate device. i understand that there are back-end infrastructure issues that need changed in order to fix it, but then again, how long has skype been around (even before the MS purchase)? they said they've been doing a great job over the past 10 years (and before that, saying they haven't been trying their best and sucking), but other VOIP services and similar services like google voice (unified phone number for free?) in the past 5-7 years have improved while skype rots.
  • I guess these multiple devices thing is difficult to implement and driving Skype crazy. Combine that with inconsistent WP & W8 notifications, and things go worse. This makes me realize the reason why Viber and Whatsapp runs one device at a time. IDK about hangouts as I've never tried it on multiple devices.
  • Dell venue 8 pro for $229 on Amazon (today only)
    http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Venue-Pro-Tablet-Windows/dp/B00FEE7B1I?ascsub...
  • Holy shit.
  • The need to fix the Xbox one version too, i only wanna receive calls on there not texts as a option then i would be a happy bunny
  • I would guess you could change that in the settings.
  • There are a lot of settings you're unable to change on Xbox one for now. We windows phone owners may think we're the only ones with an incomplete OS waiting on updates to seemingly simple features, but Xbox one owners (I'm one of 'em) are right there too. I mean, hell, we can't even see how much storage we've used up yet!
  • 8.1
  • 6.9
    9 got cockblocked by period.
  • That is also stated toward the end of this story. The headline is slightly vague and misleading, however. It may read better as 'teases "fun" things for WP8.1'.
  • They need to turn Skype more like whatsapp!! Sent/received markings are a must!
  • Agreed
  • Did you not read where the new version with message sync would show read/unread status?
  • I think we will know what "fun things" are coming when they arrive on the Android and iOS versions of Skype before the WP one... :P
  • Skype does seem more on board with the other guys then us family!
  • Actually, in the actual interview on the Verge, he said that said that that's just a remnant from the old way that Skype use to work (ios and android get it first), but he said that that won't be an issue anymore.
  • True. But so far, we all know that's not what happens. Maybe it will change. Maybe not. We shall see ;) (I'm not among those who actually wants more Skype. I have no use for it on my phone, seeing I prefer to use it on the Surface. So I couldn't care less if Android's version is better. Still, it's the principle of the thing.)
  • That, much?
  • Skype notifications suck
  • The Skype app for WP is the worst of any Skype version. It doesn't support voicemail, which is absolutely necessary if you're using Skype as a phone service.
  • mm...skype isnt supposed to replace ur phone service ! is it ?
  • Yes it is, if you pay for premium service. Skype is my primary phone.  
  • Skype can replace your phone service if you are constantly have good internet connection, have Skype credits or subscription with Skype number.
  • I still don't get Skype calls on WP8 GDR3 both over 3G and WiFi with the app closed.
    I get the notification for the missed call as soon as I open the app, and I get incoming calls only if I stay with the app opened and not in the background.
  • Something similar. I got call time after time, but not all. Messages? It's how Skype wishes sometimes I get them, sometimes I can see notification, but in many cases only when i open app. Skype is my only contact point with my family otherwise would be deleted.
  • Uninstall da app n install it again... This will fix ur prblm.. I also had the same thng.. Actly it hqpns for most apps which run in da bckgrnd.. Like ma whtsapp,Skype,viber diddnt get any toast notifications whn it was closed..so i reinstalled them n now its working fine :)
  • The 8.1 holy grail we waiting for better be worth it,
  • I would like to see them fix how Skype on WP8 combines the tile count for calls and messages. Those are two separate things, and I'm tired of having to go back and constantly double-check Skype for missed calls, only to find that it's just showing a count for old Messenger messages that I've long since replied to in the Messaging Hub (where the messaging functionality really belongs, anyway).
  • God I cannot wait for them to fix chat. It seems like chat is just awful unless I'm sitting next to the person in chatting with so we both know were connected.
  • First and foremost, I want to be notified when I receive messages from group chats. Everything else can come after.
  • Don't need fun things, just give me reliable messages and I'll be happy. That Skype code must be a mess for it to take so long to fix.
  • They slipped up for 10 years ... face it. Apple and FaceTime, Blackberry and BBM. Real integration.
  • +1
  • well msn messenger is well integrated... but nobody uses it because it used to really suck before wp8
  • Instead of taking about it lets just fix the problems already these have been on going for quite some time!
  • I hope there will be some real big things coming, not just some stickers and groups,
  • Trust me, if they refer to at it as 'fun', it is nothing big that is coming...
  • +1
  • We're always getting teased :(
  • They need to completely merge Skype IDs and Microsoft account IDs. I can't tell you how confusing it gets when it won't let you call someone by their MS account ID but you can call them via their Skype ID because they are logged into messenger on a different device than their Skype which is logged in via their Skype ID. I don't want to see the same person in my Skype contact list twice for each ID!
  • Agree.
  • I would love to see a google voice type service from Skype...
  • Cannot come fast enough.
  • Fun things to come, meaning no support whatsoever?
  • Interesting timing.  I finally gave up and uninstalled Skype from my WP.  However, it appears as though I'm getting more problems with the desktop client. I work remotely so I have to be available to the home office, and skype on my 822 just wasn't cutting it. As far as the desktop app goes: I don't understand how MS can charge for services that are free with google hangouts such as multi-person video conf and desktop shareing.  It seemed like Live Messenger was a lot closer to the finished product (not on the phone).  I guess it just didn't have a cool enough name?
  • Its to hard to link Skype accounts to contacts in your People app (both WP8 and Windows 8).
  • what I wouldn't give to ask this guy: 1) why does skype have to make such annoying sounds. 2) why is the windows app always behind iOS and android. 3) have they done user testing on the metro skype? because usability wise it is terrible and lacks even basic functionality like screen sharing, meaning it is useless as a office colaboration tool and one has to get the desktop client. 4) ads. needs to stop. 5) last, he mentions windows 8 and the web are a pain to develop for, so why isn't MSFT, the parent company fix the platform? It's 2013. true multi-tasking isn't hard for windows, and any pains are self induced.
  • Compared to iOS and android I'd have to say the Windows 8 platform is rather easy to develop on.    But MS would need to also take some innitiative to help integrate skype into the OS a little better.  Either by opening up the SDK where needed or providing some expertise. 
  • We do I hear the opinion on windows 8 programing, all over the place. I hear: "its a nightmare"
    "its a piece of cake"
    "your nuts, its next to impossible"
    "B.S., a monkey could do it"
  • "According to The Verge report, Kunins demonstrated future versions of Windows Phone and Windows apps, which correctly synchronised messages and only fired up notifications on the device in use" Just curious -- how do they/Skype/your devices determine which device is in use?  If, like I often do, I'm logged into Skype on my laptop (but not necessarily actively using Skype at that moment) and my phone is sitting on my desk (also logged into Skype), I wonder which device is "in use"? I'd love a fix to the duplicate notification issue, so am glad to see they're working on it but it seems like it would be hard to correctly determine which device should get the notifications.
  • They should go both places. I've seen it work that way on iChat with both an iPhone and macbook air. It's simple and the user can jump from one device to another without effort. You just put the phone down and take over where you left off on the laptop/pad.
  • ^^This sounds no different than what I experience now in terms of seeing the same messages on my phone and laptop, but it doesn't comment about my question.  Just wondering how the devices or Skype would know which which Skype session (or device) is the "active" one that should receive the notification.
  • That's exactly how Skype works on my WP 8 (Lumia 928). Skype messages come to my dekstop, laptop, and WP all at the same time. Any replies I send also appear on all 3 devices. I hope they don't take away this simultaneity of reaching all devices. If it bothers some, I hope they just provide an option to limit it, because I really like and depend on the everywhere-ness of it. The only problem I have with Skype is that if someone leaves a voice message for you via Skype, there is no way to play it on WP. For that reason, I've had to turn off voice mail in Skype, which is clearly not good.
  • I wanna see skype interrogated into the eco system just like imessage and facetime. That would be nice
  • iPhone has had this for a while and Google Plus has been doing IM/video messaging/conferencing way better than Skype for a while now. I don't understand how one of the oldest and most popular IM/video messaging programs can't get this figured out in a reasonable timeframe...
  • Sometimes the older platforms are the hardest ones to upgrade and keep innovative.  When you can start from the ground up things get easier.
  • Frustrating that they didn't have the vision to keep up with the competition/times. Now they're playing catch up... but I guess that's how MS seems to prefer to roll these days...
  • How about adding photo sharing and read receipts too!
  • The bug that keeps Skype ringing after I've answered the call is absolutely maddening. I hope they fix it soon.
  • I would like to see the user accounts merged like in windows phone and windows 8 people app I see one user in Skype I see messenger users and skype users and they are not merged, and I would like to see messenger back in the people app but using skype I don't thkn I would need to open skype to do messaging in the people app on windows phone or windows 8 ...  
  • You can merge Skype contacts with contacts already on your phone now. People Hub > Tap the contact you want to link > Tap the middle button > Choose the contact to link.
  • I wouldn't mind the ability to sign out (properly) and have an option for the App to remember my credentials so i don't have to re-enter them every time. How about some more Status options besides 'Available' and 'Invisible' on the Phone? We can't be 'Away' from our Phones at all or busy? Windows 8 'Quiet Hours' would be nice too. Contacts aren't always in the same time zones, so the App putting a preset Status and Message up (Away/Asleep) and muting the sounds would be great.  
  • I don't understand why it is so hard to implement. WebOS did it 3 years ago. Skype was built in and was working fine, and BTW still works who ever still has their pre3s
  • Ah WebOS, I miss it. I moved to WP from WebOS about 2.5 of years ago. But I must say that I think WebOS did the best job of all mobile OS's at just nailing the way it should work -- notifications, multitasking, etc. It was just perfect. I also thought the portrait sliding keyboard and rounded shape was the best form factor for a phone.
  • My biggest annoyance is having a Skype and a Messenger contact for the same person and not being able to video the Messenger contact even though the option is there to do so and you gotta make sure you know which contact is the skype one
  • I just wish that skype will be the best IM apps and kick the BBM, imessage, whatsapp, line etc out!
    Can't wait for it!
  • syncing favorites via the cloud would be nice too
  • "And still no file sharing for y'all hahahahahaha".  Don't know why but kinda read it that way. It's almost 2014 folks.
  • My two big Skype gripes on WP: 1. No feedback option within app. 2. Can't move your video image to another part of the screen like the PC version.