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Skype Finally Arrives On Microsoft Phones 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-to-yesterday dept.
judgecorp writes "Skype has finally delivered version 1.0 of Skype for Windows Phone, bringing support for its parent Microsoft's mobile platform up to the level of that enjoyed by rivals Android and iPhone. from the article: 'Skype for Windows Phone is available in 18 different languages and will be available on most local Windows Phone Marketplaces within the next 48 hours. The app features the ability to make free voice and video calls to other Skype users as well as affordable calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype credit over a 4G, 3G or Wi-Fi connection.'"
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Skype Finally Arrives On Microsoft Phones

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  • Free phone calls? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:36AM (#39770759)
    I'm sure the carriers will just love this and push windows phones even harder in their stores.
    • by sglewis100 (916818) on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:39AM (#39770789)

      I'm sure the carriers will just love this and push windows phones even harder in their stores.

      Yeah. They will push other phones, without Skype. Oh wait...

      • I can honestly say I have never seen anyone with a windows mobile device besides Microsoft employees.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I can honestly say I have never seen you leave your moms basement.

        • by ewanm89 (1052822)
          I know on ex-Nokia employee with one... Oh wait, I forgot they've all but officially merged!
    • by SpryGuy (206254)

      So... carriers aren't pushing the iPhone because it has iMessage (bypassing text revenue) and FaceTime (equivalent to Skype), as well as the ability to install Skype?

      Did you think for even two seconds before posting that? Or were you just champing at the bit to post a knee-jerk bashing of Windows Phone (if you'll excuse my slightly mixed metaphors)?

  • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:39AM (#39770793)

    Unfortunately, you still can't receive calls without having the app open in the foreground... sort of defeats the purpose of having Skype on your phone, unless you're the kind of person that only MAKES calls.

    Seems WinMo is the only platform with this restriction... works fine on Android and I'm guessing iOS too?

    • by PPH (736903)

      So, is this a fault of Microsoft's Skype port? Or a limitation of Windows Phone? Like perhaps its not a multitasking O/S.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        fault of microsoft not dealing skype(which they're going to run soon enough anyways) prioritized access and special privileges. windows phone just happens to suck for making apps that extend the phone with voip etc.

        do you know who really loves that though? couple of choice carriers.

        • do you know who really loves that though? couple of choice carriers.

          ... so carriers will start pushing it. Users will still lap it up, and only notice too late that the Skype on their new phone is not actually usage.

          Quite cunning!

    • by scorp1us (235526)

      Even the product the Lumia 900 replaced, the N9 can receive calls in the background (Meego OS)

      • by 21mhz (443080)
        Try to leave your Skype account online, it will drain the battery in less than a day. Skyhost is a timer-driven CPU wakeup bitch. It's probably a good thing they did not let the Skype team install background services into the system until the performance is much improved.
  • by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:40AM (#39770805)
    It's a deal breaker for a lot potential customers and current ones. I'll be looking at the google tablet very hard when it shows up this summer.
    • by 21mhz (443080)

      Isn't Google world supposed to use Google Talk? :-)

      For those users who mostly use Skype to call mom in another country without the good old international call rates, this version is quite OK. Those who really need Skype always on, will have to wait for Apollo, or go for other platforms.

  • I was worried for a minute that the Windows Phone owner wouldn't be able to make calls with his smartphone. Crisis averted!

  • by dell623 (2021586) on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:51AM (#39770945)

    The app still doesn't do basic stuff that the Skype app on Android does fine, like being able to receive calls when the app is not active. From what I read, this is a limitation of the platform. I really don't understand the glowing reviews for the Lumia 900 and the relentless praise for Windows Phone 7, in glowing reviews like this one: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/15/nokia-lumia-900-review-this-ones-a-no-brainer/ [techcrunch.com]

    It seems people can't stop making excuses for WP7, just because it's different to iOS and Android. It doesn't support dual core processors and resolutions higher than 800x480, and now it looks like no current phone will get an upgrade to Windows Phone 8, which is even worse than Android fragmentation issues. And it sounds like a repeat the HTC HD2 story, the HD2 was never upgraded to Windows 7 despite having the hardware to support it. It comes with a childish and uncustomizable homescreen. The applications screen consists of one long scrolling list that becomes a pain once you have a few apps installed. It was clever when it came out, but as Joshua Topolsky said for WP7 it's time we stopped giving it a pass.

    • The app still doesn't do basic stuff that the Skype app on Android does fine, like being able to receive calls when the app is not active. From what I read, this is a limitation of the platform. I really don't understand the glowing reviews for the Lumia 900 and the relentless praise for Windows Phone 7, in glowing reviews like this one: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/15/nokia-lumia-900-review-this-ones-a-no-brainer/ [techcrunch.com]

      It seems people can't stop making excuses for WP7, just because it's different to iOS and Android. It doesn't support dual core processors and resolutions higher than 800x480, and now it looks like no current phone will get an upgrade to Windows Phone 8, which is even worse than Android fragmentation issues. And it sounds like a repeat the HTC HD2 story, the HD2 was never upgraded to Windows 7 despite having the hardware to support it. It comes with a childish and uncustomizable homescreen. The applications screen consists of one long scrolling list that becomes a pain once you have a few apps installed. It was clever when it came out, but as Joshua Topolsky said for WP7 it's time we stopped giving it a pass.

      It is not a technical limitation of the platform but a rather deliberate one that was put in place so that the battery does not run down because of background tasks.
      See Android with it's background services (some that are installed by carriers and that cannot even be uninstalled) and battery life problems. Anyway, this (and other limitations you listed) should be gone in WP8.

      • by Windowser (191974) on Monday April 23, 2012 @01:18PM (#39773103)

        Anyway, this (and other limitations you listed) should be gone in WP8.

        Like every problem in every Windows version, it should be gone in the next version.
        Keep the faith my friend, some day, Microsoft will get something out the door that won't suck. And I guess it will be a vacuum.

        • Like every problem in every Windows version, it should be gone in the next version.

          So like every problem in every piece of software since always? Platforms have problems. Android has problems. iOS has problems. OSX has problems. Those problems get fixed and they you can focus on a new batch of problems to fix in the next version.

    • by PickyH3D (680158)

      This is one limitation of the background tasks. It's not a hurdle that they cannot overcome, and it's not like they will not overcome it considering that Skype is their subsidiary now.

      Unlike your Android phone (leap of faith there), Windows Phones do not yet need a dual core processor, nor do I expect it suddenly to this Fall even though it is expected to have them at that point. The applications run just fine on a single core, as does pretty much everything on iOS (oh no, the iPhone 4 has a single core! On

      • It's not a hurdle that they cannot overcome...

        Perhaps, but it is a marketing fail that they many not recover from.

      • Unlike your Android phone (leap of faith there), Windows Phones do not yet need a dual core processor

        I stopped reading right here. Dual core processors are *NOT* a requirement for Android phones. My 1.5 year old Nexus S has a single core 1Ghz processor with 512MB ram, and it's still extremely fast and responsive. I also recently upgraded from 2.3.6 to 4.0.3 and it's even faster than before. Dual cores are a luxury, not a requirement.

      • by 21mhz (443080)

        Unlike your Android phone (leap of faith there), Windows Phones do not yet need a dual core processor, nor do I expect it suddenly to this Fall even though it is expected to have them at that point. The applications run just fine on a single core, as does pretty much everything on iOS (oh no, the iPhone 4 has a single core! Only the iPhone 4S has a dual core). As for the screen resolution, I have yet to see a real problem with 800x480 other than marketing, although I fully expect higher resolutions to appear with WP8.

        I think this spec jostling results from a feedback loop between tech-crazy reviewers and geeks, and the manufacturers who are happy to oblige and tune marketing to tout whatever the bestest/biggest characteristic their top-of-the-line device has. What geeks didn't notice is that the race went past the point where it does not matter that much anymore for the users at large. Those who deride the Lumia phones for being two year old tech make a positive point without knowing it: approximately at that time smart

    • by Trogre (513942)

      Skype works well on your Android phone? Just give them a bit of time and they'll "fix" that problem. Remember Skype is now owned by Microsoft.

      Out of curiosity, can you still use Skype over WiFi or did they get around to making it 3G only?

      • by 21mhz (443080)

        Skype works well on your Android phone? Just give them a bit of time and they'll "fix" that problem. Remember Skype is now owned by Microsoft.

        Why would they decide to erode their customer base and hence the ROI from those $8 billion they paid for Skype? It's not like Office for Mac is crippled in any way, besides platform portability issues, is it?

  • Windows Phone sucks for this sort of app. Apps are suspended when they are in the background so tough luck if you want to receive calls with Skype because you can't. You would have to leave it open all the time with no screen lock or you won't be receiving any calls.

    Microsoft would have to bless the app or add some background service with special privileges that listens for inbound calls. Or better yet they'd fix the WP architecture so any app can run in the background even if has to request a special per

    • by PickyH3D (680158)

      This is true, but it's naive to think that Microsoft will not expand on their background tasks to allow such behavior (probably not the Viber part though, as I imagine that does not exactly excite the carriers).

    • This appears to be a limitation of the WP7 multitasking model. MS may change it in the a future update. Does anyone know that the plans are for the next version (not update) for Windows phone OS? I've heard rumors that Win 8 will be used instead of WP8. That would frought with unknowns including if present apps will work in Win8.
      • by DrXym (126579)
        Here is are some recent [msdn.com] blogs [msdn.com] about Windows 8 and how it will suspend Metro apps. Right at the top of the second it says:

        An important attribute of this app model is that apps are suspended when they are no longer visible to the user. Suspending Metro style apps in the background is a good thing, as it conserves CPU for other apps and ensures that background apps don’t cause activity that can consume resources, thereby improving the battery life and increasing responsiveness.

        I have to wonder what

        • by SpryGuy (206254)

          You misunderstand or misapprehend. There DO exist APIs to perform background tasks as necessary (such as completing a download even though the user switched away, or continuing music playback). It IS the case that the DEFAULT behavior is to suspend. It is ALSO the case that apps may request, via specific APIs, some specific background functionality.

          This is really little different from iOS.

          • by DrXym (126579)
            I know there are background agents and some other things but they do not fit all apps which means I am screwed. It's not hard to imagine examples as I did.
          • by gl4ss (559668)

            You misunderstand or misapprehend. There DO exist APIs to perform background tasks as necessary (such as completing a download even though the user switched away, or continuing music playback). It IS the case that the DEFAULT behavior is to suspend. It is ALSO the case that apps may request, via specific APIs, some specific background functionality.

            This is really little different from iOS.

            ah that's the impression only until you try to implement something with them. here, take a look: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh202942(v=vs.92).aspx [microsoft.com]

            oh and no xna.* from bg tasks(yes there's a pretty common use case why you would want that..).

            sure, there's also a bunch of api's you could use but if you use them you can't publish to market.

            it's really different from iOS and totally different from android and just shit way of doing compared to symbian.

      • by SpryGuy (206254)

        WP8 will run all WP7 apps. That is not an unknown.

        • So it will be WP8 on the next phones instead of Windows RT. So WP7 apps won't run on Windows RT?
          • by SpryGuy (206254)

            There are no details on what WP8 will support beyond the statement that it will run all existing WP7 apps.

            Whether it's possible to write apps that would run across both WP8 and Win8/WinRT (presumably at least a recompile woudl be required) is not currently public knowledge, one way or the other. I'm not even going to speculate.

            WP8 and Windows 8 (and WinRT) share a common OS Core... again, that has been publicly stated. What is layered on top is not public knowledge yet.

            I seriously doubt (but again, just m

            • One of the main reasons I think that Apple was able to get consumers to buy iPads was that iPhone/iPod Touch apps would work on an iPad. The size wasn't optimized for the iPad screen but it was a reasonable compromise that ensured users that there were plenty of apps. The developer could create an iPad optimized app if they wanted. The problem facing MS for both WP7 and Windows RT will be a lack of apps. WP7 is catching up but if those apps cannot run on Windows RT, users are back to square one.
  • by suraj.sun (1348507) on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:53AM (#39770967)

    Even though it's owned by Microsoft, Skype won't support low end Windows Phone Tango devices as it “requires a minimum of 512MB of memory to install and use Skype” [skype.com], and doesn't yet have support for receiving calls in the background -- if the app isn't running [wmpoweruser.com].

    • by game kid (805301)

      It's like they're trying to skip the "extend" part and just extinguish their new subsidiary Skype forever.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        It's like they're trying to skip the "extend" part and just extinguish their new subsidiary Skype forever.

        well at&t would like that.. and telia-sonera...
        though it's not like skype is the only name in the voip town, it just happens to be the most popular.

    • by PickyH3D (680158)

      That legitimately surprises me. I wonder if it actually needs the memory, or if it is an oversight on their listing (as it's listed as a Known Issue)?

      It mostly surprises me because the Tango-based phones are destined for China and India where a lot of people use Skype. Being able to sell it as the go-to phone for Skype would have been a smart move on their part, but Microsoft has never been known to have good marketing. Hopefully whomever is to blame wakes up and notices.

      • by 21mhz (443080)
        It's probably bloat in Skype code. Remember that they "grew up" on the desktop and got onto mobile platforms later. Even the Skype integration in N900 and N9 has issues with memory and CPU use that no mobile application should be allowed to have.
        • This probably required a new port from scratch to target the Metro APIs.

          IIRC, the linux port uses Qt. So no Maemo bloat, as WP7 doesn't include Qt. Which makes me suspicious of the deal Elop signed - MS could have ported the Harmattan version in, more or less, a month if Nokia had been encouraged to port Qt to Metro.

          QML-based applications resting on JScript .NET could have become semi-official API in an MS-Nokia partnership, allowing Nokia to save face in targetting Qt on legacy Symbian and Meego devices.

          • by 21mhz (443080)

            IIRC, the linux port uses Qt.

            If it does, it hides it really well by static linkage.

            So no Maemo bloat, as WP7 doesn't include Qt.

            What is this supposed to mean? The Skype stack needs some base layer functionality, and depending on the build, "embedded" Skype engines even link their own libc copy statically.

            Which makes me suspicious of the deal Elop signed - MS could have ported the Harmattan version in, more or less, a month if Nokia had been encouraged to port Qt to Metro.

            This latter task is of course so easy to do in a year, looking from one's armchair. And no, there is no modern Qt-based Skype port to begin with: the Linux client uses old Qt widgets, not QtQuick. Harmattan stock UIs where Skype is used as one of the backends use neither: theirs

            • by 'Maemo bloat' I was referring to any potential for non-optimised code leaking in from a port from another platform. The skype port to Metro doesn't use Qt however.

              Anyway, I maintain that Qt ought, at some point have a Metro/.net backend- if not for Skype then for the emerging Windows 8 x86 release. If Nokia is committed to see Qt not wither, naturally.

              I'm expecting WP8 to be a small niche, forever behind Android and iOS. Thus would it hurt MS to have another toolkit, such as Qt5, available?

      • Embedded OSes may use somewhat less RAM than desktops but anything more than the basic tasks still requires 256MB to run *comfortably*. e.g. Firefox on my desktop is currently using 175MB - I'd argue that's not entirely 'bloat' but simply a reality of the modern web experience.

        I'm cynical about trying to cram everything into 256MB as a cost saving measure. Do reduced specs actually trickle down to the consumer at low margins? Or is it just an excuse for manufacturers to fleece the developing world by skimpi

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