Skype halts development for Windows Phone 7, sets course for Windows Phone 8

The Skype team today has taken to their blog to further outline some of their plans for mobile going forward.  In the article, they highlight how Windows Phone 8 was the first OS to receive mobile HD video calling and feature the new Modern UI. They also mentioned that “the vast majority of our Windows Phone base and usage is on Windows Phone 8”.

Skype, like all companies, has to put their resources where the market is and because of that, they’re announcing that there will be no further development for Windows Phone 7.x legacy devices.

The future of Skype is with Windows Phone 8

That’s the bad news. The good news is they are not pulling the app from the Store and it will remain there for customers to use and download going forward. The “core Skype experiences” including Chat, Voice and Video Calls will remain operational, but don’t expect any more future updates.

Windows Phone 8 overtook 7.x back in June (Source: AdDuplex)

The move by Skype should not be seen as a surprise. Back in June, data from AdDuplex demonstrated how Windows Phone 8 had overtaken Windows Phone 7 usage with a 53% dominance. To put that in perspective, at the time Windows Phone 8 had only been on the market for seven months, while its predecessor had been available for nearly two years.

It’s clear that the momentum is with Windows Phone 8, especially with the dozen Lumia devices that have been released since last November. There is also little argument that the 53% number has only increased since the summer.

Although it's a shame to see Windows Phone 7.x development be brought to a halt, resources need to be spent on the big prize and that’s Windows Phone 8. At least 7.x users won’t be losing anything, as the Skype app will remain available for the near future.

Recently, Skype for Windows Phone 8 received the video messaging feature and we should see more advances for Skype on Windows Phone 8 in the future.

Source: Skype Blog; Thanks, Erik E., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.