Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Skype is ending support for its smart TV software since users show stronger preferences for using the app on their mobile devices rather that on their TV screens, even when the latter offer a bigger size and great audio quality. The service will be supported until June.
Some people who are already accustomed to the service will be able to continue using the app, however, it will no longer be supported, which means that Microsoft will not issue new updates of it. Password resets and account creations will only be available through Skype.com, or Skype mobile apps.
According to Skype support, several TV manufacturers might also remove the TV app from certain models. Analysts seem to suggest that users prefer mobile platforms to communicate via Skype, probably because smaller devices can be seen as “less invasive”. As a response, Microsoft will exclusively dedicate its efforts in the mobile area.
The app is currently supported by TVs developed by Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba and Philips. The South Korean tech giant Samsung has already announced that it will remove the app from its apps page.
“Over the years, users have changed the way they use Skype, with the majority accessing it from a mobile device – including when in the living room. We want to make sure we prioritize delivering the best possible experience to the platforms our users are asking for” wrote Skype in a statement.
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It appears that Facebook, with its 1.55 billion monthly active users and Apple with millions of devices in the market, are leading the race with Messenger and Facetime, respectively. At the same time Xiaomi, one of the most powerful smartphone developers from China, launched its own chatting service called My Video Call while Slack has announced video calls support and Whatsapp has reached 1 billion daily active users.
Since February, iOS and Android users are able to make group video chats. This new feature can differentiate Skype from other apps since the app divides the screen to show live video of several friends at the same time.
Skype’s decisions seem logical after the impressive increment of smartphones sales worldwide. When the TV app was launched in 2010, there were approximately 300 million of smartphones in the market. Currently, the number of smartphone sale reached almost 1.5 billion units.
Source: Skype support