PROPRIETARY VOIP AND CHAT outfit Skype has withdrawn its Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Mobile, blaming issues with the Microsoft operating system for the move.
The firm has not made much of a splash about the decision, and there is no obvious announcement on the Skype and Skype Lite download pages. However, a forum discussion posted on the Wmpoweruser site drew a comment from a Skype marketing guy, Peter Parkes. Reading between the lines and looking at Statcounter's user figures, we can only conclude that Windows Mobile might as well have leprosy.
Skype seemed reluctant to even discuss the operating system. The missing download was first flagged on the user group in a post that published Skype's latest FAQ entry on Windows Mobile which says, "Unfortunately, Skype Lite - a version of Skype for your mobile phone - and Skype for Windows Mobile are no longer available for download from our site. Our focus is on providing a rich user experience that allows you to enjoy free Skype-to-Skype and low cost calls as easily on the move as you do at your desktop. We felt that Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Mobile were not offering the best possible Skype experience."
With little other information to go on from the firm this created a lot of speculation amongst forum users, many of whom suggested that the firm was favouring Apple's Iphone or Google's Android and would cross the road to avoid having anything to do with the Vole's phone operating system.
In the face of this and other criticism, Peter Parkes of Skype took it upon himself to comment on the user group where he explained that it was not game over for the OS. "It's been very difficult for us to make the experience consistent across a wide range of Windows devices," he said. "However, we have a partnership in place with China Unicom to deliver a new beta version to their WM handsets - where we can work with mobile operators, we'll be able to deliver a Skype experience on the current WM platform which lives up to expectations."
This has since been expanded upon in an official Skype blog, also by Parkes. In it he added, "This isn't a decision we've taken lightly, but the reason is simple. Neither of these apps offered a great Skype experience."
Parkes recommends that instead users try Skype on one of the other available mobile operating systems. Ouch. µ