Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What did they do to Skype on Windows 8?

I'm a long time Skype user. Let me qualify that - I've used the free version of Skype for years on an old Vista laptop. I'm used to being able to do conferencing and have all sorts of options and settings. We just got an inexpensive Lenovo laptop for my daughter and it came with Windows 8. So I decided to get the Skype free version up and running so she could do the same thing with another sibling. Installation was different - having to go through the 'Store' and all, but I though OK...whatever.

Then I started it up. Unrecognizable. It made me login with a Microsoft Live or Hotmail account instead of creating a Skype account. And then were almost zero options. I finally figured out how to look for the other pre-Microsoft Skype accounts that I wanted her to have access to and got those listed.

What threw me was the UI. In an effort to simplify it and make it useful to mobile platforms (which a classic laptop is not really) they've oversimplified it. I couldn't find camera controls, mic controls or anything I was used to. Maybe I'm overlooking them, but as a developer who has developed Windows programs since 3.1, this is a bit too simple for me. How do you do voice only conference calls? Group video calling? Couldn't find them. Right clicking didn't help. Maybe they are in a different version. Where are those things?

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