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Microsoft kills off Skype for Windows touch app in favor of desktop version

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Windows 10 integration coming later this year

Microsoft is simplifying Skype for Windows into a single application. While the software giant has offered a touch-friendly Skype app for Windows 8 and a separate desktop app for Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs, Microsoft is removing the finger-friendly version in favor of the traditional PC app. Any users of the Windows 8 specific version of Skype will be pushed towards the desktop version starting July 7th. "We’re updating PC users of the Windows modern application to the Windows desktop application, and retiring the modern application," explains Skype’s Aga Guzik. "With the upcoming release of Windows 10 for PCs, it makes sense to use the Skype application optimized for mouse and keyboards use, capable of doing touch as well rather than 2 separate applications performing the same function."

With Windows 10, Microsoft is planning to use Skype as a service for a new Messaging app that seems similar to Apple's iMessage offering. Microsoft originally teased this back in January, but the company has remained silent about its plans until today. "Don’t worry we will begin rolling the apps to get your feedback later this year," explains Guzik. This means that the Skype integration for Windows 10 won't arrive next month for the July 29th launch date, but will be available later this year with the many updates planned for the new operating system. That will disappoint some looking to use Skype across phones, PCs, and tablets running Windows 10, but for most the decision to move to a single desktop app will result in a better experience for Skype on Windows.

The future of Skype for Windows could be deep integration

Strangely, Microsoft's plans to create a single Skype app for Windows don't involve universal apps just yet. That's probably related to the fact that many Skype users are still running Windows 7, and Microsoft doesn't want to maintain a Windows 10 version and desktop app for Windows 7 users to avoid the messy situation it had with Windows 8. That's not a good sign for Windows 10 apps, and other third-party developers will have to make similar decisions for their app plans in the future. While Microsoft isn't commenting on the future of its Skype plans right now, it seems inevitable that Skype will once become a universal app again as more and more consumers move to Windows 10. If it doesn't, then the future of Skype might just be a deeply integrated experience into the core messaging apps on Windows 10.