And then there was one. Microsoft is dropping the modern Skype app for Windows PCs, leaving only the desktop version, the company announced.
“Starting on July 7, we’re updating PC users of the Windows modern application to the Windows desktop application, and retiring the modern application,” said Aga Guzik, head of Desktop Product Marketing at Skype, in a statement. “With the upcoming release of Windows 10 for PCs, it makes sense to use the Skype application optimized for mouse and keyboards use, capable of doing touch as well rather than two separate applications performing the same function.”
Modern apps (formerly Metro) for Windows 8.x are generally designed with tablets in mind. They typically prioritize touch input and fill device displays with full-screen visuals—two things of little utility to users of PCs with big, non-touch monitors that use a keyboard and mouse to get things done.
With Windows 10, Microsoft is stepping back from some of the controversial design decisions in Windows 8 that alienated some longtime users, like removing the Start menu, a fixture since Windows 95. The Start menu returns in Windows 10, and with it will come several features aimed at improving the desktop experience.
Skype is following suit. “With the upcoming release of Windows 10 for PCs, it makes sense to use the Skype application optimized for mouse and keyboards use, capable of doing touch as well rather than two separate applications performing the same function,” Guzik stated.
Microsoft is also signaling that it’s an all-or-nothing proposition. Fans of the modern Skype app have no choice but to make the switch.
“Anyone trying to access the modern application on PCs starting from July 7 forward will be automatically directed to download the desktop application,” said Guzik. “If you already have Skype for Windows desktop, you don’t need to do anything. Also, if you’re on a Windows RT tablet device, there is no change for you.”
Guzik also said that the company is working on adding Skype functionality to apps like Messaging and Phone. The Skype-enabled apps will appear later this year, she said. “This way, if you want to quickly make a call or send a message, you can use task-based apps and for those of you power users who like the advantages of the all in one app, you can pick what’s right for you.”
Microsoft has been working furiously to extend Skype platform’s reach across the company’s expansive software ecosystem.
In December, the company released Skype for Office Online, allowing users to conduct Skype chats without switching software as they collaborate on Web-based Office Online Word and PowerPoint documents. Earlier this month, in a similar move, Microsoft updated Office Web Apps, enabling Skype for Business (formerly Lync) users to instant message one another or carry on voice or video conversations in their browsers.