Skype – Why can’t it all be so simple

Skype – Why can’t it all be so simple

Skype now has four versions of its software – purely for your confusion and inconvenience. Most recently, Microsoft was on its way to canceling Skype v7.0, with a deadline of Sept 1st until an uproar from internet users not-so-quietly rolled that back. The new version of Skype that Microsoft is pushing now is called v8.0. There are issues users have brought up about its design and overall feel. One ‘idea’ on the Skype Voice site reads “Make Skype 8 look EXACTLY like Skype 7 Classic.” In its own forum, Microsoft stated that “Based on customer feedback, we are extending support for Skype 7 (Skype Classic) for some time. Our customers can continue to use Skype Classic until then. ”

Skype Release Notes is not being updated frequently by Microsoft. We’re seeing new versions, and 1 to 2 weeks later, there are still no details on what’s changed.

Skype FAQ and Known Issues has limited information on actual issues we’ve seen with the software. It would be nice to have a closed loop, with the Release Notes showing when things are fixed.

Here’s a quick rundown on versions of Skype:

Skype for Business – Used for SMB/Enterprises, typically via Office365, but can be hosted privately on Rackspace, etc.

Skype for Windows 10 v11 – Windows 10 app that runs off of the Microsoft Store. This version is part of a program called Universal Windows Platform, or UWP, which means it works identically across Windows 10 platforms like PC, tablet, phone, and holographic devices. At this time, it’s not clear if it is missing any features when compared to the new Skype Desktop, but it does seem to be a very basic touch-type app in Windows.

Skype Classic v7.0 – An apparent all-time favorite of Windows users, and they don’t want it to go away. It’s the “same old” same Skype and seems to be working perfectly. I’ve run into errors installing it on Windows 10 at times, which were probably due to a major update that MS still hadn’t put in their fixes to make it work.

Skype for Desktop v8.0 – Newest version of Skype that brings Free HD Video, @mentions, group calls with 24 users, and will soon have privacy features like off-the-record audio chats. The biggest value-add here is in those features, which are combined with a modern interface and, of course, the promise of future development.

There’s also: Skype for Web, Skype Meetings, Skype for Mac, Skype For Linux, Skype for Android, and Skype for iOS, if you feel like you don’t have enough Skype in your life.

Issues:

I’ll make a list of known issues and fixes as I test the software. Please see below for some of the common deployment and usage-type problems I’ve found in Skype, especially on the new v8.0.

  • Skype v8.0 – attempts to launch SkypeSetup.exe out of the user profile when the user has no admin permissions. The user can NOT open Skype – even when they hit No, the program keeps trying to trigger this download file. This happens every time Skype releases an update, and it will effectively lock the user out until the admin credentials are provided.

Adding these lines to the hosts file seemed to help block this version of Skype from trying to auto-upgrade:

127.0.0.1 get.skype.com
127.0.0.1 livegeteastus.cloudapp.net 
127.0.0.1 liveget.trafficmanager.net

Delete or block the SkypeSetup file:

del "%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Skype For Desktop\SkypeSetup.exe" /f
  • Skype v8.0 – does not remove Skype Classic from a machine when you push it out. In my testing, I was able to remove Skype v7 first and then push Skype v8. It migrated my profile to the new version. If I pushed Skype v8 on top of v7, it would launch both on start-up. Simply removing v7 didn’t fix it – I had to push v8 again after the removal. Here’s my recommendation:
wmic /node:'PCNAME' /interactive:off product where "name LIKE 'Skype% 7.%'" call uninstall

Skype-8.27.0.85.exe /silent
  • Skype for Business – Installs with the Business version of Office365 and will NOT let you remove it from the computer. Go ahead try it… use a customized install XML and it won’t honor the request to keep Lync off the machine. Even if it does remove Lync, the app will automatically reinstall during an online repair of Office.

Remove from start-up:

reg delete HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\ /v Lync /f
  • Skype For Business– 2nd issue with Skype For Business is easily connecting to regular Skype users. Microsoft requires them to associate with a Live.com email before this can happen. You can’t find them, and they can’t find you until that has been done. In my testing, I could not add my personal Skype account to a test instance running for Business without the Microsoft email association.
  • Skype v11 for Windows 10 – This version of Skype can cause confusion and issues with compatibility when it comes to the new features offered by Skype Desktop v8.

Remove it using Powershell:

Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope LocalMachine Restricted
Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.SkypeApp | Remove-AppxPackage