Microsoft admits users think the new Skype is 'exceptionally bad'

Posted Jul 14, 2017 by James Walker
Last month, Microsoft unveiled a completely reimagined Skype experience on iOS and Android that refocuses the app as a Snapchat clone. Users have been far from impressed and after facing plummeting ratings Microsoft has finally responded to the criticism.
Skype — The Internet phone.
Skype — The Internet phone.
Mario Tama, Getty/AFP/File
Introduced at the start of June, Microsoft's bolder, brighter and more social take on Skype was meant to "vastly improve the ways you can connect with your favorite people." The app has been rewritten from the ground up and features an entirely new design.
Users aren't impressed though. App store reviews describe it as "the worst Skype ever," "exceptionally bad," "the most un-userfriendly app" and in need of "a serious reality check." Today, Microsoft responded to the backlash in a blog post, acknowledging the updated app is "a big change."
Skype update 01-06-2017
Skype update 01-06-2017
Microsoft said it is preparing updates to address some of the immediate criticism but insisted the new app is here to stay. The announcement will disappoint users who have been asking for the old version to return as an alternative.
Shortly after the update launched, extremely frustrated users began to annihilate its ratings in the App Store and Play Store with overwhelmingly negative reviews. It plunged from 4.5 stars on the App Store to 1.5. Google Play, which measures app ratings differently, retained its higher overall average but all the recent reviews sat between 1 and 2 stars.
As set out by The Next Web, the bulk of the criticism lies in the decision to reinvent Skype as a social-first app. Skype's old focus on chats, calls and professional communication has been dropped in favour of building an all-out Snapchat clone for younger users. Apparently, Microsoft noticed that's what everyone else is doing so thought it would have a go itself.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out people don't actually want another Snapchat. Skype has built its name around more "serious" communications. It's often used for professional work and to stay in touch with distant friends and family. In the words of one reviewer, the new update "makes no sense." It strips out Skype's popular features in favour of becoming yet another social-first chat app for young users.
Microsoft said it s planning to add more  fixes  for missing features soon
Microsoft said it's planning to add more "fixes" for missing features soon
The problems with the shift in focus have been compounded by a long line of missing features and bugs in the new version. The new interface hides key buttons, doesn't include a way of seeing who's online and leaves out the option to make yourself "invisible."
In its post today, Microsoft said it has already released updates that fix "notifications" and the "ability to delete contacts and conversations." We'll leave it to you to decide whether these should have been implemented on day one.
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"The goal for this next generation of Skype is to bring the people in your world closer together than ever before, and we know – especially with your help – it'll continue getting better and better," said Microsoft. "We're excited for you to see what's next!"
Microsoft's blog post demonstrates it's at least aware that many users consider the new Skype app to be a step backwards. It's sticking to its plan of being the next hit chat service though, a move that looks like it might alienate many longstanding customers.