Microsoft promises to fix Skype

Microsoft admits that Skype has been a problem child but vows to have it behaving better soon, a Skype product manager tells The Verge.

Not happy with Skype? Microsoft has some improvements in the works.

In an interview with The Verge, Skype product manager Jeff Kunins said that Microsoft is now testing several updates to the VoIP service that will sync your unread and read messages across multiple devices. But notifications will pop up only on the active device, as demoed in updated versions of the Skype Windows Phone and Windows desktop apps.

Skype also has trouble syncing incoming calls, which means that multiple devices keep ringing even after one of them has already answered. A fix for that is in the works, Kunins told The Verge. However, squashing this particular bug has proved challenging, especially in Windows 8 and on the Web, Kunis added.

Microsoft also is trying improve the load time on the Skype Windows Phone app. Other enhancements are planned for the Windows Phone 8.1 version as well.

Why has Skype been a problem child? Microsoft pinned the blame on the service's transition from peer-to-peer networks to cloud-powered servers. Designed for desktop PCs, Skype has been slow to adapt to a new world where people juggle multiple devices.

"It's not that we've been trying our best to be amazing at chat for 10 years and sucking at it, it's that we've been doing a great job doing what we were born to do and now people want more out of us and we're making the investments to expand and be great at that too," Kunins said. "We're not there yet, but we will be."

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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