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What I think is wrong with Skype for Windows 8

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Novel Tourist

I have been using Skype for Windows 8 since it was released in the Windows Store. Skype lends itself well to the Metro interface, but over the course of the past month I have become increasingly frustrated at its crippling lack of functionality. There are an alarming number of functions present in the desktop version that are conspicuously and inexplicably absent in Skype for Windows 8.


In order of impact on usability (in my opinion), you cannot:


Change a multitude of options available on the desktop version.

This is the most expansive issue, and also top of my list of "removed for no good reason." Where are the checkboxes to toggle microphone autolevel? Why can't I set notification settings? How am I supposed to adjust the call volume? What happened to the Busy (Do Not Disturb) status?

The desktop version of Skype has eleven checkboxes for notification settings alone. Skype for Windows 8 boasts a staggering eight choices in the entirety of its Options window, plus three toggles in the Permissions. That, to my knowledge, is it.


Join a call properly.

Desktop Skype featured a green Call Group button which would change to a Join Call button if there was already a call active. Sype for Windows 8 also has this button, but without any indication of state. I cannot tell if I am joining the call or calling the group; in other words, I can't tell if there is a call active for the conversation.


Add someone to a conversation while in a call.

The chat screen has a (+) button to add a participant. However, this button inexplicably disappears upon joining the call. I have to hang up, add the person, then join the call again. This is exacerbated by the fact that the Call Group/Join Call button is so ambiguous.


View participants while in a call.
With the (+) button, the link to view the list of participants also disappears. Even when I run the app full screen, the entire left half of the screen is occupied by one large group icon. This may be reasonable in docked mode, but is otherwise a complete waste of space.


See who is talking.
For small groups this is not really an issue, but it is very helpful for large calls. Because there is no list of participants there is also no way to tell who is talking. Desktop Skype will highlight the user's icon as well as display it on the overlay; Metro Skype can do neither of these, mostly because there is no list of participants.

Adjust font sizes and spacing.

This technically falls under "lack of options", but I feel there is more to this problem than a simple removed option. The IM window is practically double spaced, and there is an obscene amount of empty space in the home screen. One may argue that it was designed for tablets with smaller screens, but the fact of the matter is on a smaller display about 40% of the screen is empty space. As mentioned above, even the chat and call screens have so much wasted space.


Use the home screen while docked.

I really see no reason why the home screen changes to a blue screen with just the Skype logo when you dock it.



This is what I feel is wrong with Skype for Windows 8. There are a number of aspects I have not yet tried, such as calling phones or video conferences, and there may be other things I have forgotten to list. It is also possible that I simply have not discovered how to do some of the above, but I would be very surprised if that were the case.


Either way, Skype is ideal for use with the Metro interface: it has a greatly reduced impact on startup time compared to the desktop interface, and fits well into the Metro framework. The problem is, it's so heavily neutered that it's just barely usable. The majority of the above are not even requests for new features, simply questioning the removal of old features.


Hopefully, somebody who matters reads this and takes it into consideration.



Message 1 of 12 (10,335 Views)
11 Replies
Novel Adventurer

I have Windows 8 on a PC and Skype takes up the whole screen and is annoying.  I don't see an option for reducing the size of the window to allow several windows on the screen.  Will Skype have a fix for this?  Do I have to remove Skype for Windows 8 and install previous versions to run under compatibility to get the previous functionality?

Message 2 of 12 (10,238 Views)
Novel Adventurer

You can download the regular, good version of Skype at


Don't even bother with the Metro version, it's pretty much a disaster the devs should be ashamed of.

Message 3 of 12 (10,230 Views)
Super Aviator

Yes, you can install Skype desktop client. But running in compatibility mode is not recommended.


Should I run Skype for Windows desktop in compatibility mode?

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Message 4 of 12 (10,211 Views)
Novel Adventurer

Tamim wrote:

Yes, you can install Skype desktop client. But running in compatibility mode is not recommended.


Should I run Skype for Windows desktop in compatibility mode?

Thanks all for your responses.  I removed W8 Skype and installed the PC version.  What a relief.  Interesting though, W8 Skype does not show up in Programs and Features.  To remove it, right click the Metro window and select Uninstall from there.

Message 5 of 12 (10,173 Views)
Novel Adventurer
What is the betting that Microsoft will not change anything. I have uninstalled Widows 8 for this very reason
Message 6 of 12 (9,872 Views)
Casual Adventurer

My personal prefernce is Unbuntu 12.04 LTS, just saying...

Message 7 of 12 (9,834 Views)
Novel Adventurer

Thank you :bigsmile: Marymag for the link. Once I logged off from Skype on this new laptop with W8 I couldn't get back in without logging into MSN and that was not working. I prefer the older version like someone wrote the W8 one takes up the whole screen and if I want to drag files for someone to view I can't. Thank you again!!!!

Message 8 of 12 (9,683 Views)
Novel Adventurer

I told them in so many words, and not quite the way you did, "That Skype for Windows 8 is horrible for me to use"! They emailed me to say that they deleted my post!

Message 9 of 12 (9,492 Views)
Casual Tourist

Thank you for posting the link - I have returned to the regular version of Skype.

Windows 8 version was very frustrating.

Message 10 of 12 (8,567 Views)
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