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Skype now testing end-to-end encryption for conversations

Skype
Skype (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft has announced (opens in new tab) that end-to-end encrypted conversations are coming to Skype. While there's no timeline available for when the feature will be enabled for everyone, Skype Insider testers can already try the feature out with the latest preview update on iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, and Windows desktop. Alas, the UWP version of Skype, distributed on the Microsoft Store, is left out for now.

The addition of end-to-end encryption will allow Skype users to ensure that their audio calls, text messages, and files remain as secure as possible. You will have to take extra steps to ensure you're in a private conversation, however. Microsoft explains:

Give it a try by selecting "New Private Conversation" from the compose menu or from the recipient's profile. After the recipient accepts your invite, all calls and messages in that conversation will be encrypted end-to-end until you choose to end it. You can only participate in a private conversation from a single device at a time. You can switch the conversation to any of your devices, but the messages you send and receive will be tied to the device you're using at the time.

Skype Private Conversation

Encryption is already offered to some extent on several other messaging platforms, including Signal and WhatsApp, so it's good to see Skype is finally jumping on board. Skype's implementation, Microsoft says, takes advantage of the industry standard Signal Protocol by Open Whisper Systems.

For the preview, you'll only be able to start private conversations with other Skype Insiders who are on the latest preview version of the app. If you are a Skype Insider, you should be able to try the feature out now with Skype version 8.13.76.8 for iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, and Windows Desktop.

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.

18 Comments
  • My Skype camera is still upside down on W10M. Anyone?
  • Alcatel idol 4s.  same
  • 950XL still upside down. Maybe they should test that one too ;)
  • Yes. Upside down. Turning off Rotation Lock and using in the landscape orientation works fine though.
  • You are not alone. It's a mess.
  • I never use video call. When did this started to happen?
  • Yeah usually corrects when the call connects. I have had to turn on rotation lock to get my call to look right. Skype is seriously buggy lately.
  • Skype is way behind other messaging apps now even though it's been around for much longer. Sad. Makes you wonder what they were doing this whole time.
  • They fully rebuilds their app on all platforms once every 3 years for whatever reason. Even on WP: Skype looked one way on WP7.5 Looked one way on WP8.0. Looked another way on WP8.1. Looks another way on W10M.
  • Many people doesn't know that Skype is better than WhatsApp for now
  • Skype is a mess. Inconsistent design across the platforms, no feature parity, bugs and performance issues... Wtf is Microsoft doing?! I love my Surface Pro and Windows 10, but the situation MS services are in is alarming to say the least.
  • The last person I knew using Skype left and I finally deleted it last month. People I know are on Discord now.
  • Congrats! ;) Did just that myself, too. And it seems Skype is only first of many MS crapware I'll delete in future months. :)
  • Just to be clear, the key words are end to end encryption, as Skype communications are already encrypted.  (Seen several places saying that Skype wasn't using Encryption, which just isn't true.)
  • So it's already encrypted? So what's this new feature? Do you have a source for current encryption practices?
  • So no update for the UWP version of the app?  It does not inspire confidence that MS does not treat it's own platform with development priority.
  • I'm in Windows Insider Preview, but I don't have this. How do I get it? Anybody have a link?
  • I read on the Internet that Skype messaging is encrypted. So I read it wrong then.