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Skype 7 Gets a Stay of Execution

Source: Microsoft

People don't like change. That's why all hell breaks loose every time Coca-Cola tweaks its recipe, McDonald's removes a menu item, or Walmart decides not to stock a product. The same is true of software; major changes to a tool millions of people use is bound to inspire backlash. Just ask Microsoft, which received so many complaints about Skype 8 that it decided to let people use Skype 7 until all its features are in the new version.

Microsoft released Skype 8 on July 16. The company announced on the same day that Skype 7, which it dubbed Skype classic, would be discontinued on September 1. It makes sense from a development standpoint; continuing to support old software means the new version can't get all the attention it needs. For people who grew used to Skype classic over the years, however, being forced to use Skype 8 was upsetting.

And that might be putting it lightly. Skype users flooded the app with one-star reviews on various platforms after Skype 8's debut, with many complaining about the new interface, which made the app look more like a modern messaging app than ever before. The inclusion of cute emojis, neon colors and enough white space to paint a picture stood in stark contrast to the previous version's dated, but familiar, user interface.

Those complaints overshadowed the improvements made with Skype 8, including the ability to make free HD video calls or easily share files up to 300MB in size with a drag-and-drop system. Microsoft wanted to streamline the Skype experience, but it seems that many of the app's users would prefer it if the company just improved on Skype's existing features instead of introducing so many new features under the same name.

Apparently enough people complained for Microsoft to give Skype classic a stay of execution. The company said it would be extending support for Skype 7 "for some time" and that people could use that version of the app "until then." That isn't a particularly detailed announcement--technically Microsoft would be within its rights to kill Skype classic tomorrow--but it should at least temporarily appease Skype 7's supporters.