New cross-platform 'Skype for Life' client rumored to be in development at Microsoft

A new rumor claims that Microsoft is working on "Skype for Life", a new cross-platform client for its VoIP service that will take the place of all the different clients that run across many platforms.

This unconfirmed report comes from Ars Technica, which says this new Skype app is one of the reasons why Microsoft decided to shut down its London offices last week. The story claims that Microsoft wants to work on this new client at its Redmond, Washington headquarters:

Currently, the company has the traditional Windows desktop app; the new Universal Windows Platform app for Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox, and Skype; the Skype Web client; and a Web-based standalone app for Linux (which apparently also has internal builds that run on Windows, too). Skype also has mobile apps for iOS and Android in addition to a macOS client.This is an excessive number of clients, and what we're hearing is that Microsoft's solution is to develop yet another client, codenamed "Skype for Life." This one client will be cross-platform, covering not just Windows but Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android.

The report claims that "Skype for Life" is being developed alongside the Skype for Business client, and the still unconfirmed "Skype Teams" app that reportedly is being made as a competitor to business-themed message services like Slack. The story adds:

With this client being the primary focus, other clients are moving into maintenance mode, making the teams that build them, including many of Skype's London staff, redundant.

It's important to remember that none of this report's claims have been confirmed by Microsoft, so take them with a grain of salt.

John Callaham