Skype has been running under the Microsoft powerhouse for many months now, yet with the release of Skype on the Windows Phone OS recently, it just does not match up with a true Skype experience. Lets be honest, apart from the dilemma of Skype running well on the Nokia Lumia 610 or not, the application is useless all together.
Microsoft released Skype on the Windows Phone marketplace as a public beta at first, and honestly did not change much going into the initial launch version. One feature especially that has yet to show up (and never did) is a way to receive calls and messages once you have backed out of Skype. This is critical, and this is what makes Skype useless at the moment, no matter what Windows Phone you are using. On other platforms, Skype has much more to offer, including receiving notifications of incoming calls and messages as if they were going through the user’s phone number directly.
In a lengthy and informative New York Times article covering all issues and plans of Microsoft with Skype, the Windows Phone information is most important at the moment. Seeing it difficult to mention Skype on Windows Phone without mentioning the lack of call notifications, the Skype team responded with this (short, simple, and not very informational):
Brian O’Shaughnessy, a spokesman for Skype, said that shortcoming would be addressed in a future version of the software.
What does that mean, honestly? Skype has yet to even receive a small update after its launch on Windows Phone to add any features it lacks. The “future version of the software” could very well come as late as the release of Windows Phone 8. Yeah, we are not even going to expect a software update any time soon on Windows Phone 7.x at this rate.
Apparently, which makes no sense to us, Microsoft is having issues with carriers claiming Skype on Windows Phone is something they (the carriers) do not like. For the obvious reason that Skype offers free calling using the Internet, wireless carriers are blaming it for loss of revenue. Have carriers ever complained like this on other platforms like iOS or Android? I just do not see why they are complaining about it with Windows Phone. Regardless, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop had this to say about that:
Stephen Elop, the chief executive of Nokia, a maker of Windows Phones, told an audience at a recent conference that “the feedback from operators is they don’t like Skype” because its cheap and free phone calls can steal revenue from traditional phone businesses. Nokia is talking to carriers about ways to bundle Nokia Windows Phones with Skype and lucrative high-speed data plans, Mr. Elop added.
Mr. Ballmer said Skype has not been an impediment to Windows Phone. “I think any savvy operator understands that the future of communications doesn’t look like the present of communications,” he said.
Our verdict is this, disappointingly enough, Microsoft has already had plenty of time to do much more with Skype since the acquisition. Whether they are having problems or not, if they were not prepared to push out Skype swiftly and properly when the acquisition took place then Microsoft should have waited.
Pick it up Microsoft!