Skype for Windows 8: A debacle

    General discussion

  • German computer magazine (largest tech website in Germany): Windows 8 Skype is a debacle


    Translated by online-translator, still quite readable: "The basic screen layout appears at first quite catchy: The left side displays all the recent activity, ie calls, instant messaging, video calls & Co. In the middle you see your favorites, right edge contacts available. If your contacts are displayed, simply click on a name and then click the icon to make a call, to write a text and so on. At the bottom of a chat bar appears. All this would be fine if it were not, despite its simplicity to use insanely unintuitive. In an attempt to offer a possible neat user interface, Microsoft is far overshot. Important features are hidden in places and sub-menus, where you can find it only by chance - if at all. Some features, such as the import function for contacts remain untraceable.

    Another nerve factor in the new Skype for Windows 8 is the jumping back and forth between the app and the Skype website in IE example, if you want access to the very well hidden menu item "Account" opens unceremoniously on the IE and you land a website, which unfortunately is all aimed at simplicity equally confusing as the Skype app itself in our case, the whole was further complicated because Skype us regularly in the course of an application automatically and unintentionally sent newly created account, rather than the actual test account. Unnerved we wanted to switch to another user with an existing Skype account, but unfortunately Microsoft has housed the "Unsubscribe" in the settings menu of the Charms bar where one looks up the first thing is not spontaneous. We have finally found the function already. But why can not intuitive? Who makes these design decisions?  According to Microsoft, is to store the settings in the Charms bar a default setting for Windows 8, which must be umgestzt for all apps: "We expect that the user will get used to it over time."

    CHIP Online says:
    Is this really the final version? After all, Skype for Windows 8 appears to coincide with the new operating system, so already on 26 October 2012. Since not much time left. What Microsoft delivers here made ​​in the editorial for shaking their heads in disbelief. How you manage to get the same despite minimal designs such an unintuitive operation is a mystery. Hide important functions in favor of the simple layouts so that they must first seek laboriously, is not comprehensible. The idea that one's parents were sitting in front of this piece of software is funny and sad at the same time. If the new Skype is an indicator of the future of software on Windows 8, then Microsoft has a problem. A great [one]."

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012 9:39 PM

All replies

  • "Insanely unintuitive". How could one screw up Skype? Then again, Microsoft managed to ROYALLY screw up a basic e-mail app, so what am I saying..of course they managed to screw it up. All Metro apps appear to be screwed up beta versions running in a toy UI. "We expect that the user will get used to it over time." has to be one of the most pathetic statements I've heard - and basically is saying, "yeah - it kind of sucks, but eventually you'll get used to the crummy interface design". Really, this is the best that Microsoft can do? This is what they want the world to see when they launch these devices - in three days? people are going to be "shaking their heads in disbelief" when they try to call friends and family on their new surface tablets? Really? I'm just stunned at the incompetence.

    But on another note - assuming you are using the full version of Windows 8 (not RT), wouldn't you want to run the full desktop version of Skype instead anyway? You can install the full version of desktop Skype, correct? Is this just for the poor unfortunate souls that bought RT and thought apps would actually - you know - work right?

    • Edited by ABCFED Tuesday, October 23, 2012 11:07 PM
    Tuesday, October 23, 2012 11:05 PM
  • Totally agree, it s a disaster ! Best Apps work because it s simple, Apple/macbook... had a tremendous market penetration because it s simple and visible. Skype we love it because it is (not for long ) simple. Before you just clicked once and you are back to skype now you need 2 steps and you even can t keep it visible to access it in one step !

    definitely a very average (bad) experience. I just downloaded classic shell to have ''windows start'' at the left down corner.

    Please keep it simple, if you want to charge W8 twice W7...bring improvements with a enjoyable user experience !

    Good luck...and do not forget to do a proper ''reality check'' with users not only internally or just your closest friend who is similar as you.

    Monday, April 01, 2013 10:26 AM
  • I wouldn't use Skype as a benchmark for anything. Skype is pretty terrible on all platforms. From killer bugs on Windows Phone to consistent midnight lockups on OS X, something is wrong over at the Skype team (and these predated Microsoft)
    Monday, April 01, 2013 3:14 PM
  • Not sure where you're getting your data, Entegy, but I have found Skype to work quite well, especially considering the cost.  It's less buggy than a lot of expensive software.

    I've been collaborating using Skype for some 7 or 8 years now, often in tandem with screen-sharing software, and sometimes on calls that last all day with folks on Macs and PCs alike, even iPads.  I've transferred files with it from bytes to gigabytes without error. 

    Skype is not without a few little glitches but I count it amongst the top productivity applications I've ever used.  It has always "just worked" for me.  Perhaps it has to do with how tightly you run your ship when it comes to keeping your computer well-maintained.

    Why would anyone consider installing Skype for Windows 8 while the Windows desktop version is still available.  What could a person possibly hope to gain by trying to use the Metro/Modern side of Windows?

    I just installed the Skype Windows desktop version on my Windows 8 test system and it works just fine.



    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, April 02, 2013 12:30 AM
  • Not one person chose to attempt an answer to my question "What could a person possibly hope to gain by trying to use the Metro/Modern side of Windows?"

    A perhaps even more important corollary question cuts to the core of things: 

    What could a complex application - especially one that's already established - possibly hope to gain by trying to use a chaotic, undisciplined, multitasking-allergic application environment? 

    Now here's the kicker:  Skype is owned by Microsoft, right?

    Who, if not Microsoft, should be able to develop a vision of what a serious application should do to best show off and shine in the Metro/Modern environment?

    I think this failure says a lot - a hell of a lot.



    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, April 06, 2013 12:51 AM
  • So you want us to buy your book on how to get windows 8 to Work with Skype ???

    guess that answers the question how bad a job Microsoft did with tis new sleek crappy interface

    can someone tell me how to get the classic Skype so I can have some menus and set pref's and block users etc..

    Windows 8 on 64k laptop??

    help    I reboot my old pc just to use the Old Skype...

    Sky Geo Web builder

    Wednesday, January 08, 2014 6:47 PM
  • Here's a philosophy to follow, assuming you don't avoid the new version of Windows entirely:

    1.  Deconfigure and avoid Metro/Modern to the extreme.

    2.  Get only desktop applications (as Bob suggested above).

    If it's not available for the desktop, it doesn't exist.  Leave the Metro/Modern BS to people who want to play games.  Ignore it long enough and it'll go away.

    I spent 11 hours collaborating online with Skype for desktop today on Win 8.1.



    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Thursday, January 09, 2014 7:03 AM