MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that it will retire some Windows and Mac versions of its Skype VoIP software, just five months after release.
On the Skype blog, Tom Huang told readers, "As we look ahead to the future, we're focusing our efforts on bringing the latest and greatest to the most recent versions of Skype. As a result, we are going to retire older versions of Skype for Windows desktop (6.13 and below) as well as Skype for Mac (6.14 and below) over the next few months."
Despite having released the software at the beginning of this year, the company has opted to adopt a short lifecycle for the product. This is not unprecedented behaviour, as this month the much maligned original version of Windows 8.1 reached an early end of life, as the company urged consumers to move to the revised edition.
Microsoft is advising users to update to continue using Skype "without disruption". We asked for clarification about what will happen if users chose not to update. A spokeman told us, "Over the next few months we are going to gradually retire versions 6.13 and below of Skype for Windows desktop, and versions 6.14 and below of Skype for Mac.
"Once the version is retired, users will no longer be able to sign into the retired version until they upgrade to the latest version of Skype."
Newer versions of Skype have received significant updates including offline messaging, viewing of complete chat histories, and better syncing between mutiple devices, which, as we reported, were all features removed when the post-takever Skype was redesigned.
Microsoft has already overhauled Skype for Android this year, and last week it announced a revamped version for Linux, bringing that into line with the design features of other versions. µ