Goodbye, Skype, You Won’t Be Missed

Not long ago, Microsoft finally discontinued Skype 6.21 and other earlier versions. I’ve been using this for the last year or two because the kiddie version of the UI they introduced in version 7 onwards disgusts me on a whole bunch of levels. So Microsoft have, once again, lost customers because of their own pig-headed idiocy in not listening to the thousands of complaints about the awful new UI they introduced.

Not only is the new UI horrible on the eyes, it wastes space like nothing else (a big issue if you’re trying to have any sort of serious text conversation), and most importantly is incredibly hard for people with colour blindness to use. Even dumbass corporations normally make concessions for people who have disabilities of one form or another, but Microsoft have made it abundantly clear that they do not care if you’re colour blind. Nice, huh?

Here’s a little tip, Microsoft: if people aren’t willing to update to your new version and you have to force them to, maybe you’re doing something wrong. Instead of forcing the issue and making it so people have to update to your bug-ridden, awful UI, bloated mess of a new release, you could always try, I don’t know… not making shit software?

They can’t seem to wrap their collective heads around this really quite simple concept. Like that whole Games for Windows Live thing. Example, Fallout 3: GFWL caused all manner of problems with that game and it took someone actually making a mod to disable GFWL to get the damn game to run properly.

And you know what? Upon disabling it, I—and many others—clawed back 10-15FPS as a result of that bloated junk no longer running. And in a first-person shooter back in 2008, that’s a HUGE deal when framerates were often hovering around the 20-30 mark under normal circumstances. Losing 10-15 from that hurts bad.

Then last year there was that whole Windows 10 debacle, again forcing people into upgrading because they didn’t want to do so otherwise. They tried enticing people with the free upgrade—which was anything but free, because you became the product—but when that didn’t work they started forcing upgrades without permission via priority Windows Updates. They tried forcing Skype like this as well, bypassing your in-program update settings.

While on the subject of Windows 10, they’re doing Games for Windows Live 2.0 with their equally terrible Windows 10 Store for games now. UWP makes it impossible to mod, forces various terrible options, screws over anyone using G-Sync monitors, destroys performance, etc. etc. This, when their main competition is Steam.

Oh, and let’s not forget Office, and how they’ve done all they can to lock people into perpetual monthly payments for a suite that should be a one-and-done deal. We can thank Adobe for that, they pretty much kicked off the whole ‘software as a service’ craze with Photoshop CS6, and they can burn in hell for pulling that shit.

And now Skype, where they’ve been attempting to force people to update to their awful new 7.x versions for the last couple of years and now, finally, they’ve logged everyone using older versions out and we can no longer use Skype unless we downgrade to their latest versions.

How many times are Microsoft going to try this flawed failure of a strategy before they get it? Going by how many times they’ve already tried it, and continue to try it to this day, I suspect it’ll be until they finally push too far and go out of business. Unfortunately, that could be a very long time yet, because the Enterprise arm of the company still makes basically all the money in the world. Until then, the end users will be the ones who have to deal with this crap at every turn. As usual.


Yurika S. Grant is a writer and yuri lover who writes lesbian fiction and lives in the sunny yet unbelievably flat East Midlands. Secretly a witch.

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