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Microsoft launches Skype Lite for India

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Microsoft has launched Skype Lite, a new version of the video and voice-calling app designed for the Indian market. The download weighs in at 13MB, and the app is designed to work better on 2G or unstable connections, making it more reliable in many parts of India.

Microsoft says Skype Lite will consume less battery power and run smoothly even on old Android phones, and there’s a mode that reduces data usage in video calls. The app works with SMS, too, and is available in nine languages.

Microsoft is also integrating Aadhaar, the 12-digit national identification number system widely used in India, directly into Skype Lite as a way for people to securely identify themselves. The data can be accessed for verification during a call and deleted once it's finished.

Skype Lite comes as many tech giants are focusing their efforts on India, a potentially huge growth market. Among other initiatives, Google recently rolled out YouTube Go, an India-focused version of the video app that — like Skype Lite — concentrates on improving the experience in areas where reliable, fast connectivity isn’t a given. Apple, meanwhile, is set to start manufacturing iPhones in India soon.