One of the more interesting bits of news to come out of Microsoft’s massive Windows 11 info dump yesterday was confirmation that the company’s Skype app will not be pre-installed on new Windows 11 devices or remain on existing devices when doing a clean-install of the new operating system.
The app will remain on devices that already have it installed before doing a basic upgrade to Windows 11 though so current users don’t have to worry about Skype being uninstalled without their permission.
This definitely isn’t a good sign for the aging communications app that launched way back in 2003 before being purchased by Microsoft in 2011 for a whopping US$8.5 billion. While Skype will apparently still be available to download from the Microsoft Store app store for Windows users who want to use it, Microsoft choosing to remove it from its list of essential apps sends a strong message that Skype’s days are numbered.
The fact that Microsoft Teams will now be integrated into the Windows 11 operating system itself hammers this fact home even further.
Skype has been trending downwards for several years now mostly due to a combination of the rise of easier and more fully-featured rival chat, voice, and video apps and a noticeable lack of interest from Microsoft when it comes to keeping the Skype brand relevant with consumers. Microsoft’s increased focus on improving Microsoft Teams and making more of its features free has also played a role while the astronomical rise of Zoom during the global pandemic confirmed that Skype just isn’t a service people think of any more when it comes to video conferencing and calls.
Other Windows 10 apps that will be joining Skype as optional Microsoft Store app downloads include 3D Viewer, OneNote for Windows 10, and Paint 3D. A large number of Windows 10 features will also be discontinued with Windows 11.