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Skype smart TV app

Microsoft said that it would no longer support the Skype for TV app citing their lack of appeal in the face of increasing competition from mobile devices which, has emerged as the preferred medium for video chats.

Microsoft has announced it will be ending support for Skype for TV app post-June 1. The company justified its decision claiming the move is in tune with the current trend where mobile or tablet devices have taken precedence over TVs for video calling functionality.

Microsoft had earlier been pushing adoption of Skype on TVs citing the size advantage that it offered. Skype was first launched on TVs back in 2010 when the company would take pride in proclaiming it be the best mode of communicating with family and friends in the living room.

Further, running Skype on a TV also meant there is no ‘out-of-the-shot moment to miss as there are plenty of screens real estate at disposal. Family members also won’t have to huddle around the cramped computer display as well.

However, a few years down the line and none of the above advantages hold good any longer. The availability of a few other mobile video chatting apps too has played their part as well. For instance, there is Apple’s FaceTime or Facebook Messenger that have grown immensely popular among the mobile-toting crowd. Slack too has confirmed they are planning to introduce video calling to its chat service, primarily focussed on the business community.

Likewise, Microsoft has stated it will be channeling its resources towards improving Skype experience on mobiles and tablet devices.

Skype initially came pre-installed on a number of smart TVs which included those from Samsung and LG. The app was available to download on several other models as well which included Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba and Sharp. The TV either required having an integrated camera or one that could be attached to it.

Will I be able to use Skype for TV after June 2016?

Samsung has already said that it will stop offering Skype starting June 2. In addition, Microsoft said it will be up to individual TV makers to decide whether to continue offering Skype on their sets. The company though hasn’t stated till when it will remain to exist in an unsupported state or if it plans to bring the curtain down on Skype for TV soon thereafter.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Skype was a differentiator why I bought Samsung TV in January 2016 instead of the LG. Now they want to cancel the support? I think they have made wrong market research. The video call from my smart phone is ok if I don’t want to see the complete room scene. How a mobile device can replace a more than 50-inch wide screen? If I mirror the screen, it has a delay. The delay can be acceptable for watching youtube or ppts but it is terrible for bidirectional video communication. Where will I put the phone to see catch the room? How will a control the phone from a 3-meter distance?

  2. Microsoft is making a BIG mistake in dropping Skype on TV format. Who wants to huddle around a phone or tablet compared to to widescreen TV. Everyone Ive spoken to is really ticked off at Microsoft about this.

  3. What Microsoft and Samsung are doing here is pure discrimination against the elderly and other technologically challenged people worldwide!
    There are possibly tens of thousands of families around the globe, who have set up their elderly parents or grandparents with a Samsung Smart TV for the sole purpose of using Skype to stay in touch with them and have real face to face conversations. A great number of those elderly persons are probably widowed and living alone, perhaps on another continent, like my own 86-year-old dad. His “Skype TV”, as he calls it, has made a huge improvement to his life only in the last few months. It took a while for him to learn how to use his remote control, but now every time he has managed to push the buttons in the right sequence, he greets me with a big smile and triumphs: “I did it right again! I can see you. Great!” For him, just like most other seniors, a mobile device or a computer would never be a viable option, because those things are far too complicated.
    To not have their Skype TV app anymore will be a great loss in the lives of all those people, I know it will be devastating for my dad.
    Something needs to be done to make Microsoft and Samsung reverse this ill-considered, heartless decision!

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