What's new in the latest Skype Update March 2018 - Major Update

In a world full of Google Duo, WhatsApp Video Calls, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Video Calls, Zoom, and umpteen other video calling apps, Skypes still holds a special place. What's new in the latest Skype Update March 2018 - Major Update.

Posted 9 months ago in Technology, updated 9 months ago.

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Male , Lives in India
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In a world full of Google Duo, WhatsApp Video Calls, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Video Calls, Zoom, and umpteen other video calling apps, Skypes still holds a special place. First launched in August 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the platform changed hands a couple of times- eBay bought it for $ 2.6 billion in September 2009. The platform was ultimately acquired by Microsoft in May 2011 for $8.5 billion.

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Since then, the company has become virtually synonymous with video calling in many markets, while it continues to fend off competition from new players. Now, Microsoft plans to bring even more users onto the platform with the announcement of a new version that’s optimized for older Android devices. Microsoft has announced that users will have to update to the new version of Skype for desktop in order to continue using the program beyond this month.

From 1 March, people will no longer be able to log in to version 7.16(and older builds) of Skype for Windows desktop, or version 7.18(and older) of Skype for Mac. Through a post on Saturday, March 3, Microsoft announced that it would soon begin rolling out a new version of Skype optimized for Android version 4.0.3 to 5.1(Ice cream sandwich and Lollipop). The company says that the new version “is lighter on both disk and memory consumption”, and will include fixes to provide better audio and video quality on older devices, including scenarios with connectivity troubles. The app is expected to begin rolling out to markets worldwide over the coming weeks.

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Skype is not the first platform to debut a stripped-down version for older devices. Google revealed a low-end version of its Android OS, dubbed Android Go, in conjunction with the launch of Android 8.0(oreo) in late 2017. Go is intended for devices with 1Gb of RAM or less, and is optimized to use as little mobile data as possible(with options like Data Saver mode enabled by default) along with a special suite of Google Mobile Services that is less bandwidth and data-intensive as compared to the regular offering. Other communication apps have also followed suit-Facebook Messenger Lite for Android in October last year, and Twitter also rolled out a less data-intensive lite version of its mobile site last September.

This approach is particularly useful for companies that are looking to expand into newer markets in regions like India, where flagship smartphone adoption is still low and a vast majority of the mobile phone-using population uses slightly older devices that run older software versions. Skype’s new offering comes despite a lack of official support for Android versions older than 5.0(Ice cream sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat), and against the recent controversy when Apple faced criticism after it was revealed that it deliberately slowed performance on devices.

Microsoft has promised “a better, more consistent user experience”, adding that the new build is “faster, more lightweight and more responsive than ever”. 


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