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Communications Software Upgrades Apple

Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier 267

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-for-you dept.
lurker412 writes Yesterday, and without previous warning, all Mac users running Leopard or earlier versions of OS-X have been locked out of Skype. Those customers are given instructions to update, but following them does not solve the problem. The Skype Community Forum is currently swamped with complaints. A company representative active on the forum said "Unfortunately we don't currently have a build that OS X Leopard (10.5) users could use" but did not answer the question whether they intend to provide one or not.
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Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

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  • Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WillKemp (1338605) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:35PM (#47618845) Homepage

    Who owns skype now?

    • Re:Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

      by puto (533470) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:01PM (#47619029) Homepage

      Who owns skype now?

      Let met know when Apple allows other Os's can use Imessage. That is when they get it fixed.

      • Yes, boo Microsoft (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Camael (1048726) on Thursday August 07, 2014 @04:23AM (#47620873)

        Let met know when Apple allows other Os's can use Imessage. That is when they get it fixed.

        I don't currently use any Apple products, but even I can tell there is a difference between a messaging system that was built right from the start to be locked out of its competitor's OS and one which originally was platform independent, but had that feature removed.

        To use a simple car analogy, if I bought a car knowing from the start it only ran on fuel brand X, so be it. If I bought a car which could run on all types of fuel, and during routine maintenance at the shop they changed a part so that it only ran on fuel brand Y, I would be mightily pissed.

        Surely you can appreciate the difference.

      • by jandrese (485)
        Man I wish. iMessage is the only form of pure IP communication that works reliably with the people I know, but only if they have Apple devices. Skype requires so much effort to set up that its pretty much for special occasions only.
    • The real problem is going to be those Skype users with long-term subscription plans. They may have to invest in VMWare Fusion, which allows infidel operating systems, including any version of Windows, to be run in "sandboxes" on OS X. You can then install a Windows version of Skype on the sandboxed OS.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You can then install a Windows version of Skype on the sandboxed OS.

        No you cannot, 10.5 is the last OS level that can be loaded on PPC machines these are likely all non-Intel machines.

        • Yes, Fusion has to run on an Intel Mac. Shoulda mentioned that.

        • I have a last-generation iMac G5. IIRC, I bought it in 2008 or 2009. Five years... Is a lot in Apple years. You must upgrade your hardware.

          • by gwolf (26339)

            Or even 2007... Memory blurry now.

            • My white Macbook was a Core Duo and I bought it in 2006 when Apple transitioned to x86. According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], the iMac G5 was discontinued in 2006. It's fair enough that they drop support for a totally different architecture after 8 years.
      • by jbolden (176878)

        These are likely PPC machines. However Microsoft Office's PPC version from that time came with Connectix's Virtual PC a fairly nice virtualization solution that actually included a licensed version of XP.

      • by macs4all (973270)

        The real problem is going to be those Skype users with long-term subscription plans. They may have to invest in VMWare Fusion, which allows infidel operating systems, including any version of Windows, to be run in "sandboxes" on OS X. You can then install a Windows version of Skype on the sandboxed OS.

        VMWare only runs on Intel-based Macs. This issue only affects the few PPC Mac Users, or the even smaller number of 10.5 Users with Intel Macs... And the latter can Upgrade their OS to a "supported" (by Skype) version.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Seriously... Why would we go all out "Microsoft is evil" on this one? I mean, 10.5 is 6 years old at this point, there's been 5 major version updates since it came out, 2 of which have been completely free. Any computer who's maximum version is 10.5 is at least a decade old at this point. Frankly, I don't in any way blame MS for not supporting people on decade old machines.

      • Because we're really, really tired of software that uselessly, needlessly, requires the "latest and greatest" operating system for no good reason at all, that's why.

        If devs need a feature in a new OS -- for instance, let's say you produce something that works with Mavericks (10.9) new multiple screen features, and that's its purpose in life... ok, then the user needs Mavericks and it's perfectly reasonable for you to say "gotta have it, period."

        But, say, if you have something as vanilla as an image processi

        • There are so many holes in your rant that I can't address them all without writing an essay. I'll just address a few of them.

          How about this: Don't release a new OS until... ...IT BLOODY WELL WORKS by which I mean you have NO MORE BUG REPORTS WHATSOEVER for, say, a couple months. From anyone. And all previously reported bugs are fixed.

          You'd never get a new OS release under that mandate. It's impossible to make something as complex as a consumer oriented OS without any bugs at all. And sometimes previously reported bugs can't be fixed without a redesign, which would require a new release.

          And hey, developers... what's the deal with no true peer to peer video comm app without third party dependencies? Ask the OS what the WAN IP is, email the bloody thing to your contact, contact enters same on other end, make connection. Would work fine for a very, very large number of people. Surely the video mavens out there can manage this? Video's not magic, it's just a bloody stream of packets like everything else.

          NAT, firewalls and other reasons render the approach of simply passing the WAN IP out-of-band infeasible. This will not work for a

        • tldr: "I paid for something once so I expect updates forever. (tbh I pirated it)."
          • So, my gf had to update her Mac OS (granted, 5-6 years old Mac) just so that we could chat on Skype. It's not about having updates forever. She didn't want a single update. Hell, I don't want a single update either. If my shit works, it works, leave it be. I'm not even sure what Skype updates add except ads and a module that increases memory consumption. (I'm half-kidding; I truly don't know what those updates give me, but I don't _really_ think it's just to make me use more RAM.)

            tldr: I don't want a fuck
      • by EvilJoker (192907)

        The much bigger factor is the "no warning" part. Something like this should be announced well in advance, so anyone affected can make arrangements. Microsoft has Patch Tuesday, so everyone can be ready in case their updates bork something. Disabling an entire platform (PPC OSX) certainly requires notice.

        (I'm trusting the summary; it's possible they did announce it, but people didn't see or listen to it)

      • by Ed Avis (5917)
        Well, you get what you pay for I guess. But if Skype has ambitions to replace ordinary telephony, it needs to adopt some of the same attitudes. It would never be acceptable for your phone company to suddenly cut you off without warning and tell you to buy a new phone. They should have a minimum six month period in which they warn that you will need to upgrade. Mac OS 10.5 is the last version running on PowerPC; if you have an older iMac or Mac Mini then it is not that cheap to upgrade to an Intel one, e
        • But if Skype has ambitions to replace ordinary telephony, it needs to adopt some of the same attitudes.

          Just because Verizon forces people to "upgrade" to fiber from copper, doesn't mean the person's forty year old phone stops working.

          Let me know when Microsoft or Apple can say that.
  • For comparison (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:39PM (#47618877)

    This is roughly the equivalent of blocking Windows Vista. Vista was released in 2007 (January) as was Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard 2007 (October)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:44PM (#47618905)

      Things are very different in the Mac world. Many Mac users buy for the long term. And by "long term", we're talking well over a decade. Buying a $2000 or more Mac isn't like buying a $400 Windows PC or a $150 Chromebook. Macs aren't seen as disposable computers that'll fall apart and be thrown out after only a year or two. They're built to last, the people who buy them expect them to last, and there's no reason why software that already runs on them shouldn't continue to run on them for years to come. Six or seven years is a very long time in the land of Windows, I will give you that. But six or seven years is half of the expected usable lifespan of a typical Mac.

      • It might be the case that the mac hardware upgrade cycle is that much longer(though given how much of Apple's market is laptops, which take more of a beating, and how long killing XP by attrition is taking, that isn't certain: your basic wintel desktop is cheap and nasty but also fairly durable); but the OS support situation has been markedly faster paced and more unforgiving than on the PC side for quite some time now.

        Your Core 2 Duo imac 5,1 or 6,1 (halfway through its 'expected usable lifespan') is cu
        • by speedlaw (878924)
          I have two core 2 duo macs on Snow Leopard. I recently bought one an SSD and the other a fresh 1 tb HDD. They both work perfectly, do what I need, and with fresh drives, the 2006 and 2009 machines are good for another 5 years....on a per year cost, very reasonable. Last longer than any PC machines I ever had save a Toshiba laptop.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      No its worse, as there is that we could have PPC users here.. It wasn't until snow leopard that you could guarantee x86. The only upgrade path for them requires new expensive hardware too. People running visa, for the most part, just needed to grab a copy of win7 for a few bucks ( or free ).

    • Re:For comparison (Score:4, Interesting)

      by OzPeter (195038) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:50PM (#47618963)

      This is roughly the equivalent of blocking Windows Vista. Vista was released in 2007 (January) as was Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard 2007 (October)

      And my desktop Mac is stuck on Snow Leopard because Apple decided that my hardware can't run any OS-X later than that, regardless of the CPU being capable of doing it.

    • Re:For comparison (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:09PM (#47619067)

      no, it's totally different. windows vista is a supported product until april 2017, while osx 10.5 has been UNSUPPORTED by apple since june of 2011....

      google, btw, dropped osx 10.5 in chrome way back around version 21, and Mozilla dumped it for firefox with version 16 being the last to support it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iggymanz (596061)

      No, there is no Windows LIfestyle that requires constant expensive support as the Apple Lifestyle does. Buy a new Mac and quit your whining, you pansies

  • by Alan Shutko (5101) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:43PM (#47618903) Homepage

    Skype announced that they would be discontinuing support for older versions of the client back in June.

    http://9to5mac.com/2014/06/20/... [9to5mac.com]

    • by Frobnicator (565869) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:50PM (#47619315) Journal

      Yes, the posted on their skype.com blog that old versions would be discontinued in the ambiguous future date. It applied to all platforms. A few tech news sites picked up on it, but nothing major.

      A post on their company blog is vastly different from notifying customers (especially corporate customers) that their paid service is going to become inaccessible.

      People pay for the service, and shutting out older clients should have much more notification.

      A proper response would be to sending out an email to ALL active accounts and their billing addresses notifying them of all the versions that were being discontinued due to the change. This would allow businesses (where software is sometimes tightly controlled) adequate notice to update all the machines and conference rooms. It would also allow users (who are now stranded) an opportunity to report that there are no viable upgrade paths, and a chance to use the balance of their accounts.

      Instead it has become a PR nightmare.

      • A proper response would be to sending out an email to ALL active accounts and their billing addresses notifying them of all the versions that were being discontinued due to the change.

        That seems like overkill - they only need to send messages to people who have recently connected from a discontinued version.

      • by houghi (78078)

        Sending an email? They provide a service that is communication. They could use this [skype.com] or this [skype.com].

    • by Thagg (9904) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Thursday August 07, 2014 @12:05AM (#47619975) Journal

      "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

      • "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

        I think it said 'Beware of the Snow Leopard'

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:46PM (#47618929)
    Apple does not support their own 2 year old OSes, I have to upgrade my Mac to a more often than not crappier OS just to get things like Xcode running again and sometimes I even have to buy a new Mac because the old one is arbitrarily locked out from a software upgrade.
    So why should Skype's developers care about an ancient version of OS X? Oh, I know, because they are Microsoft, and we love to bash them here!
    • by mysidia (191772)

      Apple does not support their own 2 year old OSes, I have to upgrade my Mac to a more often than not crappier OS just to get things like Xcode running again

      They won't however switch iCloud off access on you, so you can no longer get to your pictures, contacts, or calendar, just because your software version is a few years behind.

      • by Animats (122034)

        They won't however switch iCloud off access on you, so you can no longer get to your pictures, contacts, or calendar, just because your software version is a few years behind.

        Unless they committed to that contractually, they might.

    • Apple does not support their own 2 year old OSes, ...

      Two days ago I booted up my 2008 MacBook that can not run newer versions of Mac OS X. It offered me various patches. Old versions of Mac OS X are supported.

      ... I have to upgrade my Mac to a more often than not crappier OS just to get things like Xcode running again ...

      Xcode is a special case because it is a developer tool. There is an assumption that developers have the latest OS for testing purposes. Somewhat fair for Mac developers, less so for iOS developers.

      ... and sometimes I even have to buy a new Mac because the old one is arbitrarily locked out from a software upgrade.

      Its not quite arbitrary. My 2008 Mac Book does not have a complete set of 64-bit drivers. The video chipset is an older Intel model that is a little slow. It

    • Apple does not support their own 2 year old OSes, I have to upgrade my Mac to a more often than not crappier OS just to get things like Xcode running again and sometimes I even have to buy a new Mac because the old one is arbitrarily locked out from a software upgrade.

      You're a developer. Complaining that you need to run the latest OS is a ridiculous attitude for a developer. And if buying new hardware is a problem, maybe you should become a plumber instead of a software developer.

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:52PM (#47618973)
    I was using the last pre-MS version of the client, which had the "ring all speakers" option. I have several sound devices in my computer, and when my headphones are plugged in, they on their own don't ring loud enough to hear an incoming call. Luckily my HDMI monitor has speakers that don't get any use, except that Skype could make them ring with the "ring all speakers" option. They were loud enough to hear calls. That was until about an hour ago.

    My client just stopped working, booted me off the network, and after messing with it for a while, I finally got the message that my Skype version is too old, and that I either get the new crippled client, or I can't Skype at all.

    Many people have petitioned to have the "ring all speakers" re-implemented. It worked great. But Microsoft's answer has been: Fuck you, we will never do that. Stop pleading, we don't care. It didn't bother me too much until today. I just thought I'd stick with version 5.10.116 forever. Oh well. So thanks, Skype, for making my life shittier today. Boy am I happy I pre-paid a year of unlimited Skype Out!

    • by ian_po (234542)

      Many people have petitioned to have the "ring all speakers" re-implemented.

      There is a feature in some versions of MacOS X that allow you to create a logical Multi-Output Device for audio playback. The documentation says: "If you have several stereo output devices, you can have audio play through all of them by creating a multi-output device..." You can create a Multi-Output Device in Audio MIDI Setup.app if the feature exists in your OS. Then you could try setting the new device as the sound effects output in: System Preferences:Sound:Sound Effects:Play sound effects through:. Thi

  • by alantus (882150) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:08PM (#47619063)

    Skype has been a continues stream of disappointments over the last few years.

    First they started with this policy of taking away your credits if you haven't used them in a few years. They are still kind enough to let you "reactivate" them. This is like a bank taking your savings because you haven't used them in a while, but allowing you to get them back by dropping by. Its immoral and should be illegal.

    Recently they also blocked access from the linux skype client 4.2.0.11 without any warning whatsoever, suddenly you just can't connect. And after updating to the latest version (4.3.0.37), it crashes every time. Turns out you have to do some changes to the sqlite database that holds your history (couldn't they do that automatically?).

    Unfortunately opensource IM isn't much better. With so many usability issues, slow development (thinking about pidgin and gajim), and now Google turning their back on openness by disabling XMPP federation, the landscape of opensource IM looks gloomy.

    • by Ksevio (865461)
      My bank changed me a fee for not using my account in a couple years. It had no money in it, so it was then overdrawn by $10 which they charged another fee for. I called them up and they removed it saying it was "just go get people's attention"
    • by norite (552330)

      It's been going to shit ever since around the time it was taken over by microsoft

  • Possible workaround (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DeathElk (883654) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:15PM (#47619099)

    Try this: http://community.skype.com/t5/Mac/My-solution-to-continue-using-Skype-2-8-on-older-OS-X-Lion-etc/td-p/3454441 [skype.com]

    Simple firewall rule to block access to ui.skype.com. Also, I don't see why
      127.0.0.1 ui.skype.com
      in /etc/hosts wouldn't work..

  • by sasparillascott (1267058) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:24PM (#47619161)
    Microsoft gave the NSA pre-encryption access to all communication streams via Skype (through the rewrite they did after purchasing Skype). They've never said that access was removed.

    http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]

    It's good to keep it in mind when using Skype (or choosing to continue using Skype) that all messages, pictures, conversations and videos are probably recorded by the NSA for future use. Bummer for the Leopard users on the convenience side of things.
  • Let me upgrade my dual 2.5 G5 to Snow...

  • Not to worry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hamsterdan (815291) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:51PM (#47619323)

    Microsoft will somehow find a way to destroy or abandon Skype like they did Zune, Nokia and other products...

    • FaceTime works so much better then Skype anyways. The downside is that it's Apple only for obvious reasons.

  • What the story doesn't mention is that, compared to Skype 2.8, the Skype 5/6 user interfere sucks. Users have been complaining ever since it was rolled out, and Skype's answer has always been to use 2.8.

    Fortunately, there's a way to make the old version not check for updates: use your local DNS or hosts file to address ui.skype.com to 127.0.0.1. The update check fails, and Skype 2.8 runs, fat, dumb, and happy. I'm pretty sure this works for older versions of 5 or 6, as well.

  • by nuggz (69912) on Thursday August 07, 2014 @05:37AM (#47621121) Homepage

    Is anyone really surprised?

    Apple decides to block updates of their hardware.
    Microsoft decides to stop supporting old software.

    You're using closed source software, so you're stuck.

    That's the point of Free Software.

  • ...Apple locks users of Windows 8.1 and earlier out of FaceTime.

    Wah.

  • The problem is, they are banning old but working skype versions from their network. When you think of the beginning, where skype was p2p ...

    • So apparently, and I'm leeching from another post above (kudos and thanks DeathElk), they're not!

      http://community.skype.com/t5/... [skype.com]

      The app itself forces you to upgrade, because ... I was going to write yay-money-grab, but Skype is "free", so... I'm not sure, more ads, more NSA loopholes, or something, but as expected nothing changed technology-wise and everything still works if you block the call to force the update.
  • A week or so ago I recieved an email from microsoft telling me I needed to upgrade Skype on my smart phone; and that the version I was using would no longer be supported. I attempted to upgrade, only to find that the new version is too large to download and install on my phone as an upgrade. I then uninstalled the old version, and still didn't have enough space.

    My solution at that point was to just stop using Skype.

    That probably wasn't what Microsoft was aiming for, but it did change my behavior. Thanks, guys.
  • I remember reading about a competing product called "MagicJack". It appears to have cheaper rates and doesn't need a computer as a bonus. I guess folks could consider this as a competitor.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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