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Microsoft Is Disabling Older Versions of Skype For Mac and Windows On March 1 (venturebeat.com) 113

If you're using an older, outdated version of Skype, you may want to consider updating soon. Microsoft said today that starting on March 1 people will no longer be able to sign in to version 7.16 of Skype for Window desktop and older versions, and version 7.18 of Skype for Mac and older versions thereof. VentureBeat reports: "If you're one of those users, all you'll need to do is download the new update," the Skype team said in a blog post. This isn't the first time Skype is retiring old software. But that doesn't mean the upcoming move won't rankle some people. Version 7.18 of Skype for Mac and version 7.16 of Skype for Windows both came out less than a year and a half ago -- in December 2015. So it's not as if this is very old software. Still, Microsoft has been doing a lot to improve Skype in the past year. It's been migrating the app to its Azure public cloud infrastructure, and adding chatbots. Current versions of Skype -- like version 7.44 for Mac -- come with amenities like better previews of websites and better support for emoticons and other content in the input box for chats. "We've poured our energy and passion into creating something truly special, and this is just the beginning," Skype said.
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Microsoft Is Disabling Older Versions of Skype For Mac and Windows On March 1

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  • by Artem Tashkinov ( 764309 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @11:39AM (#53802307)

    Subject: Microsoft disables p2p Skype protocol starting March 1, 2017

    In a recent update [skype.com] of Skype for Windows Microsoft has announced that starting March 1, 2017 older, p2p versions [skype.com] of Skype will cease to work. This affects Skype for Windows versions 7.16 and below, Skype for Mac version 7.0 to 7.18 and the native Linux client (its only functional version 4.3). This news is especially unpleasant for Linux users of Skype, since the new "cloud ready" version of Skype for Linux is nothing more than a packaged Google Chromium web browser with Node.js running a web version [skype.com] of Skype, which means its memory consumption is huge and it's unable to store your conversation history locally indefinitely like the native client did.

    P.S. One can only wonder why ./ editors choose less informative posts over more informative ones.

    • Thanks for this. A much better reason for disabling those older versions than the reasons given in TFS.

      Whether it's a good enough reason, is a point for discussion, but disabling an older version just because the newer one has new features, is a bad one. Improved security (which I would expect to be a key feature), or security as such, isn't even mentioned!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I've noticed recent Skype versions come with ads and with a request to look at all your computer's contacts. That's reason enough to stop older versions from working, as far as they are concerned.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I still have an old version "just in case" I need to reach some old acquaintances. Last time I opened it up was about a year ago.
          With this new "development" I guess it's time to move on and say bye bye skype, stupid chimps at microsoft have finally gotten to you.
          RIP skype.

        • I looked at installing Skype for Business on my Android phone the other day.

          It is not only your contacts that it wants to slurp up, it is also the applications that are running and more worryingly your browser history.
          Have yet to think of a good reason why Skype would need that access.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            skype for "business" is a completely seaparate junkware. It is their former monstrosity called Lync, part of Office suite, rebranded to better confuse imbeciles still using Monkeyshit Corp excrements.

            The original skype is dead.

    • the new "cloud ready" version of Skype for Linux is nothing more than a packaged Google Chromium web browser with Node.js running a web version of Skype, which means its memory consumption is huge and it's unable to store your conversation history locally indefinitely like the native client did.

      Why can't it store your conversation history locally? Chromium permits limited (user-selected) filesystem access.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      That's a pain. There goes skype on my Nokia N900.
    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )

      P.S. One can only wonder why ./ editors choose less informative posts over more informative ones.

      Maybe they get some form of benefit like kickback from the ad-revenue generated by linking to some sites over others? There certainly seems to be a bit of a pattern of which sites are linked in the versions of accepted stories vs. those that are rejected when you see dupes in the firehose...

      • Maybe they get some form of benefit like kickback from the ad-revenue generated by linking to some sites over others? There certainly seems to be a bit of a pattern of which sites are linked in the versions of accepted stories vs. those that are rejected when you see dupes in the firehose...

        Ah, for days of yore, when editors would occasionally edit multiple submissions together. I don't know if they stopped doing that, or if so if it's because of laziness or because of the system for tracking submissions (but I repeat myself) but in that case it seems like the other links could just be whacked into the story.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If I had ever used Skype, I would have stopped using it when Micro$haft bought it. Disabling the current version to force Skype users to use the newer version...Kinda reminds me of all of the forced Win 10 installs. I consider a Win 10 (or anything else) install forced when it installs first and only then gives you the option to decline. Windows 7 and 8 users should have been asked first, and if they declined, that should have been that...no more nagging, and trickery to get it installed!

      It wouldn't sur

    • by dddux ( 3656447 )
      Simply ignore everything Microsoft and use whatever else is available. e.g. Google hangouts which works remarkably well. Yahoo chat is good too. I can't understand why people insist on Skype. Skype is essentially dead now.
  • by Streetlight ( 1102081 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @11:49AM (#53802359) Journal
    My wife and her sister use Skype on Android based tablets, so what about that version? Of course, Android is based on Linux, so maybe a connection to the Linux version of Skype.
  • No skype for Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OFnow ( 1098151 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @11:53AM (#53802379)
    The last skype for Linux for Ubuntu is now 4 years old. And there is none for 64bit Linux. So there is no skype for Linux. And yet no one cares :-)
    • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday February 04, 2017 @01:44PM (#53802821) Homepage Journal

      Technically, Skype for Linux Alpha is 64-bit. But as Artem Tashkinov pointed out above [slashdot.org], it's really just Skype for Web running in 64-bit Chromium, and it takes a half GB of my laptop's 2 GB RAM. Because of the RAM use and the fact that I already had the 32-bit libraries installed to run Wine, I switched back to good old 4.3, which is still the only 32-bit Skype for Linux. Or should I just run the distribution's build of Firefox?

    • by dddux ( 3656447 )
      Maybe because... what is Skype?? There are so many different programs and services to communicate with that Skype never really entered my mind. The thing is ordinary people use Skype because it is all they now. They are not aware of all the other programs you could use in the same manner. Your task is to inform them of these. Don't just lazily tell them "yeah, Skype". It is Internet ffs. There are so many ways of communication! Enjoy the freedom of choice!
  • by leehwtsohg ( 618675 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @12:08PM (#53802449)

    How stupid can companies be? Stop sending e-mails with links to update, because scammers can do exactly the same!!!
    By doing this again and again, companies are getting users used to clicking on e-mail links to update software, which I think
    today is (one of?) the main vectors for malware (see DNC hack...). STOP IT! PLEASE!

  • Telegram and Discord (Score:5, Interesting)

    by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @12:15PM (#53802481) Journal

    WhatsApp pulled that same stunt on older iOS versions just a few days ago. I convince most of my friends to switch to Telegram and Threema.
    For business and games we mostly switched to Discord.

    https://threema.ch/ [threema.ch]
    https://telegram.org/ [telegram.org]
    https://discordapp.com/ [discordapp.com] -- replacement for Skype and TeamSpeak

    Pissing of their user base ... I really wonder how long companies continue to think they can continue to do that.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Discord doesn't work on the *BSDs, so it's not a great option. You should be pushing people to platforms that have open standards or open source clients. Otherwise the same shit that occurred with Skype will just happen again down the road.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      If you only piss off 49%, then who cares, microsoft has thrived on that.

    • Stunt? Which is the orderly upgrade of software to newer versions followed later by deprecation of the older versions? Now in cases where the software (or enabling service) is paid, I can see complaining if the "later" comes sooner than is reasonable.

      Legacy software incurs support costs, at some point it's reasonable for a company to spend finite engineering resources building new things. It's a balance thing, and nothing suggests that any of these companies are going to alienate too many customers by askin

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Stunt? Which is the orderly upgrade of software to newer versions followed later by deprecation of the older versions?

        The "stunt" is failure to support the latest operating system available for a particular device. If WhatsApp requires a new operating system, and your phone requires an old one, then continuing to run WhatsApp costs $100 or more to replace your phone with one that can run a new operating system, plus whatever it costs in your area to recycle your old phone in compliance with applicable e-waste regulations.

        • Hardware follows the same rules -- it's announced, it's supported, then it's deprecated in an orderly fashion. Complain if it's done too fast, especially in the Android space where OEMs abandon phones willy-nilly, but it's still got to happen.

          All told at some margin the $100 for you to replace an ancient phone with one that can run a modern operating system is cheaper than the engineering resources required to support, validate and certify it indefinitely. Maybe that comes after 3 years, maybe 5, but logica

          • If you have old hardware, running an old OS and running old software and never change anything: it is supposed to run indefinitely. Unless something similar like the Y2K problem catches you.

            Neither WhatsApp nor Skype (nor iMessanger on iOS 6) follow(ed) that rule. Like food they suddenly rotted and stopped working. You should try to read the articles and posts you are responding to more carefully.

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              Web browsers also "suddenly rotted and stopped working" when websites switched from cleartext HTTP or old SSL to new TLS in response to vulnerabilities discovered in the former.

              • Hu? Any examples for that?

                And if it had happened, what is the relation to the WhatsApp and Skype problems?

                • Windows XP only supports SHA1 for TLS -- pretty much useless for the modern secure web (SHA1 is deprecated and it's against policy to even issue new certs with it).

                  WhatsApp and Skype also operate servers, and likely don't want to support every protocol baked into their older software versions.

                  I get that you think that your old machine with an old OS should work, but that doesn't consider that there are other parties required to support it, at least for anything server-based. You can operate forever just fin

                  • You seem not to get it.

                    and likely don't want to support every protocol baked into their older software versions.
                    That would cost basically nothing. You just keep the older libraries in the package, facepalm.

                    Anyway: I explain it again.

                    31th of december 2016, WhatsApp works perfectly. But it gives me messages since 1st of October, that it will stop working in january 2017.

                    About 10th of January it stopped working. No Os change on my Phone, no Software change on my phone.
                    I did not do an OS upgrade. I did not chan

                    • The deliberate switching off is done at the server for two reasons: to protect users from intruders (such as no longer supporting weak ciphers and hashes) and to keep the cost of continuing to serve users down. Would you prefer that your credentials be surreptitiously copied and reused because you refused to upgrade your OS to one that supports a hash currently believed to be strong?

                    • That would cost basically nothing. You just keep the older libraries in the package, facepalm.

                      Believe me, I get it. I develop and maintain software.

                      Software doesn't just keep working all by itself like that, it requires continuous QA, validation and regression testing. Otherwise people like you (rightly) scream down our throats every time a new release regresses something.

                      I can not even upgrade WhatsApp, because for that I would need to upgrade the OS first, which I'm not going to do.

                      You are welcome to keep running an insecure OS and not take security updates. I would not recommend such a thing.

                    • Sorry, the Skype and WhatsApp upgrades/forced upgrades have nothing to do with keys or credentials.
                      And yes, worst case I would prefer to keep it "unsecure". Obviously I communicate nothing via WhatsApp or Skype that needs protection. For stuff like that I always use a secure way. And as my friends on WhatsApp or Skype are not in the child porn business all the pictures we exchange are ok and no one cares if they 'leak'.

                      Skype needs the server only for initiating the connection. As soon as a call is running i

                    • by tepples ( 727027 )

                      Sorry, the Skype and WhatsApp upgrades/forced upgrades have nothing to do with keys or credentials.

                      You alone are probably unwilling to shoulder the entire cost of maintaining an additional "server only for initiating the connection" just for users of operating systems that are no longer supported.

                      And yes, worst case I would prefer to keep it "unsecure".

                      Would you say the same about your device's operating system? If it has a vulnerability that its publisher is no longer willing to fix, an attacker can compromise your device and add it to the attacker's botnet.

                      And as my friends on WhatsApp or Skype are not in the child porn business

                      If an attacker can copy your friend's session, the attacker can send images of sexual abuse as if your

                    • Facepalm, for one who claims to be in that business ...
                      The OS is not insecure.

                      WhatsApp can compile their App for any older OS version by simply selecting the right check boxes in the IDE or giving the right command line options.

                      It is a fucking chat client ... there is nothing in new OS versions that is required to make it work or gives a good reason that it does no longer work/can be compiled for old OS versions.

                      Your regression testing argument makes no sense ... do your regression tests suddenly not compil

                    • OSes don't have security issues that effect a single APP.
                      And yes, all communication after the connection is established is a P2P connection.

                      Microsoft account (formerly Passport.net) credentials can be used on not only Skype but also on numerous other services. That is why *I* and most people I know, use a Skype account for Skype, and not ... what exactly is the name of your account?

                    • by tepples ( 727027 )

                      OSes don't have security issues that effect a single APP.

                      If your operating system has a vulnerability, this means an attacker can surreptitiously install a keylogger that intercepts your passwords and other credentials used in a single app.

                      That is why *I* and most people I know, use a Skype account for Skype, and not ... what exactly is the name of your account?

                      If you want to continue this discussion privately, my Microsoft account is d_yerrick [strudel] hotmail [full stop] com.

                    • Yes, and such a vulnerability has nothing to d with the APP that is running. That is my point. So making the app stop running and say: upgrade to new version, and "new version" only runs on a newer version of the OS helps no one.

                      The discussion is pretty pointless as you don't seem to get my point ;D

                      But bonus points for using the word "strudel" ... no pun, uh, point, intended ;D!

                    • So making the app stop running and say: upgrade to new version, and "new version" only runs on a newer version of the OS helps no one.

                      It helps protect the user base at large from harassment by impersonators using keylogged credentials of users that a particular user trusts.

                    • No it does not.

                      It is simply a harassment of the provider of the App.

                      You can not install a key logger on iOS or macOS ... and if you had a key logger you still would need access to stuff like the users name etc. which is stored in the Apps private storage.

                      Even with a hackable system like many Android versions it is extremely difficult to capture the credentials of a user using Skype or WhatsApp.

                      Probably you have not the history of my posts. So I rephrase:

                      WhatsApp started to give a message around mid 2016 on

        • If the most recent version of your phone runs a version of Android lower than 2.3.3 then being able to use WhatsApp is the least of your problems.

      • The stunt was: WhatsApp (the app on my phone) suddenly warned me "it will stop working" after January 1st of 2017.
        There was no upgrade or incompatibility involved. Just like this Skype stunt. They simply "stop working" in a few days, because the server stops routing through calls for old versions.
        In the WhatsApp case, they said: download and install the new version. But the new version required a newer iOS.
        Switching to the web based WhatsApp or Desktop version did not work either: because the "linking" of t

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Look everyone knows it is only a matter of time before M$ kills skype on Windows 7 to force people to the probe. That's what upsets them, they have become accustomed to M$'s behaviour, expect it and are becoming annoyed when they see it coming even when it couple of years down track. They know M$'s modus operandi and regardless to the bullshit press releases M$ puts out, the react the the reality underlying it. So as M$ bought skype, I was done with it, I know the inevitable consequence, they are a crappy c

    • Do you know if any of these support video chat on a Mac?

      I got a panicked call from my mom this morning, she uses Skype extensively to chat with family, and Microsoft just sent her an email about shutting down the current versions. I walked her through trying to update, but the website only offers her version 6-something. She has OS X 10.6 and apparently the new mandatory client won't run there, now I'm having to find her some alternative.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Discord is a disaster. It's a hipster version of IRC. The current nodejs/javascript takeover of desktop applications is becoming a serious problem. These 'native' clients don't integrate with the host system's UI, take gobs of ram for what they do, and are ugly as sin. In discord's case, the UI stack is gpu accelerated, which causes performance problems on marginal gpus (remember, this is just meant to be a chat program). Now I've got three different applications imposing custom skins (hw monitor, steam,

    • Telegram is apparently inextricably linked to a phone number. No.

    • by tsa ( 15680 )

      MS has been pissing off their customers since the 1990s, as has the music industry.

    • This is a serious question and not a troll.

      How do you feel about the above three compared to Signal? That's what I use, and would be willing to switch to something else if there's a compelling reason.
      • I can not say anything regarding Signal. I frankly forgot about it, but reading now on Wikipedia it looks promising. Especially encrypted SMS/MMS ... I wonder how that works.

        Regarding the programs I mentioned:
        Telegram offers cost free unlimited storage (I don't use it intensive enough to see how good it works when offline) and strong encryption. Disadvantage: I don't know/did not check where the servers are.

        Discord: strength is chat groups and like TeamSpeak voice chat in groups especially suited for games

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The proper term is "differently-abled" -- as in Microsoft Is Differently-Abling Older Versions of Skype For Mac and Windows On March 1

  • Is it just me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @01:31PM (#53802739)

    Is it just me, or is everything turning to shit?

    It seems like every service, site, and program I use is steadily being degraded, feature-ized and/or monetized until it's a steaming pile of shit.

    FFS, just leave stuff alone for a change. Stop "improving" everything until it no longer works. I'm so sick of this shit.

    • Re:Is it just me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by antdude ( 79039 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @01:49PM (#53802843) Homepage Journal

      Ditto. It bothers me too. I just keep using old stuff until I can't use them anymore.

    • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

      Well there's the problem with relying on proprietary services and protocols...
      I can still use IRC, SIP, Email etc from any ancient device.

      • I can still use IRC, SIP, Email etc from any ancient device.

        It's not that simple. For example, many of the people I need to communicate with don't and won't use IRC, but they'll use Skype. Now Skype is turning into trash.

        So should I try to convert all of them to IRC? No way, they just won't do it. It may better/faster/cooler/whatever, but the issue is that everyone they know is using Skype. Why would they switch away to a service that their friends and family aren't using?

        It's the same problem for people who want to use something other than Facebook- everyone is alr

    • It seems like every service, site, and program I use is steadily being degraded, feature-ized and/or monetized until it's a steaming pile of shit.

      Welcome to capitalism! ;)

  • Yes, it is. Basically we are coming to a point where you have to login online to use a computer at all, you have no control over the applications, including how it updates, even patch notes are going by the wayside. Photoshop is no longer available standalone.

    There will never be a stop to the changes, because churn like that makes money. Be prepared for a future where you are constantly nudged to buy things, in every interaction you have. We have entered a really shitty era for personal computing.
    • Basically we are coming to a point where you have to login online to use a computer at all

      How will that be enforced? Why can't people just switch to free software? For example, instead of an iPad or a tablet or laptop running Windows 10 Cloud, buy a device running GNU/Linux or Android. Or instead of an iPhone, buy an Android phone and install the F-Droid store. Or instead of a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, build a PC with SteamOS. What computing device class has no practical device that allows at least sideloading free software, if not replacing the operating system entirely with one that respects

  • Bye (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gabest ( 852807 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @01:49PM (#53802841)
    I'm still on 6.x. If they disable that, that is the end of my adventure with Skype. A chat window must be small, no sidebars, no conversation bubbles, no huge profile pics, because I keep it open on the desktop the whole time.
  • You guys really need to treat your Stockholm Syndrome.

Heisenberg may have been here.

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