Just like it was announced a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft released the preview version of Skype UWP with the latest build 14316 for Windows 10 Preview. The app is already integrated, with all Insiders who’ve installed the latest Windows 10 Preview build able to test it.
Microsoft hasn’t precise revealed when it would be released to users who with Windows 10 Threshold 2, but we won’t be surprised if it comes with the Anniversary Update. One thing is for sure: Insiders will receive updates for the app all the way until its release.
The app doesn’t contain any new features compared to the Desktop version, and it actually looks like a light version of Skype for Desktop complete with a rougher design and fewer features. So, at least for now, Microsoft hasn’t done anything but transfer the app to the UWP platform and subtract a few features. But this was expected as the Skype UWP is still in its early development phase. We’re sure Microsoft will polish it in the coming Windows 10 Preview builds. Remember how Windows 10 itself looked like in the earliest builds?
Despite the fact that this is the very first version of Skype UWP Preview, it worked just fine. We haven’t encountered a single crash while using it (although we heard some people complained about occasional crashes, but nothing serious), so Microsoft did a solid job with that. The app does feel a little laggy, but you can’t get everything perfect in the first try.
Microsoft is looking for a better future of Skype UWP
Microsoft tried to bring Skype to the Metro platform in Windows 8, but that didn’t work out. Microsoft tried to separate Skype into two apps in the Threshold 2 Update for Windows 10 to an even worse fate, with the project shut down only a few moths after. So, the company now hopes that third time’s a charm and that Skype UWP will actually be well received by users. Will Microsoft achieve that? We’re not sure. Skype for Desktop was, and is still is, the most popular version of the service among Windows users. The introduction of the new version will hardly convince those who already were used to using the desktop version to switch.
If Microsoft wants users to adopt the UWP version, it’ll need to make the UWP version the absolute best version of Skype ever. This could be a complex process for Microsoft and the company will need to play its cards carefully. If Skype UWP gets some cool features that are not available on the Desktop version, some users will change apps but some other will be very unsatisfied. Perhaps the most drastic measure to convince people to use the UWP version is to discontinue the Desktop version completely. That, however, would probably cause a riot and could potentially cost the company millions.
It will be interesting to see how the situation with the Skype UWP develops, and what Microsoft plans to do to avoid the “Skype Metro app scenario”. Until then, if you’re a Windows Insider, you can try the app for free — just don’t forget to tell us about your impressions in the comments below!