Microsoft stops supporting Skype for 85% of Windows phone users

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If you’re a Skype user on a Windows phone and your Skype looks like the above, Microsoft no longer supports your device as of this month. Users who activate Windows phone 8.1 devices, or suddenly seek to download Skype from the Store (as few as those may be) – would be surprised to see that Skype is no longer accessible for their devices. You may still be able to download the app via a direct link or installing the appx directly, but it will stop working in a matter of months in any case.

It’s worth noting that while Microsoft lists Skype as being compatible with Windows 10 Mobile, this is a half-truth. Skype officially only supports Windows 10 Mobile 1607, aka the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Now, while 14% (13.7% at last count) of Windows phones are running Windows 10 Mobile, 9.5% of these devices still run Windows 10 Mobile 1511. Now, while with the Windows Insider program it is often quite easy to make the leap to a new OS version for supported phones, there are many Windows phones that aren’t supported for an upgrade past version 1511 – including some which shipped with Windows 10 Mobile oddly enough. TheMoly X1 for one, despite having internal specs to rival the Lumia 830 or 640, remains stranded on Windows 10 Mobile 1511 without access to either the Windows Insider program or any other means of update. I have no doubt that the case is the same for other lesser- known Windows devices.

With Microsoft cutting support to Windows Phone 8.1 and effectively neutering devices by killing the services which power them, surely one could make the case thatMicrosoft should allow users to update their phones to the latest OS – or at least release the updates to the phones which support them.

Today it may be Skype, tomorrow it may be Cortana Beta, next week Xbox Music.  Windows Phone 8.1 devices may be abandoned by third party developers, but an argument could be made that Microsoft should at least allow those users a life raft off their burning platform.