Microsoft eats Skype

quitSkype

So, just over 3 years ago Microsoft bought Skype and I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop ever since. For two years, I renewed my yearly subscription. Late last year, I noticed an alarming trend with my pay-as-you-go phone: I was burning through minutes faster than days of service. But I was still frequently on the go so I reactivated my old phone with a $25 per month plan. This was an effort to lower the costs of my monthly telecommunications. When January rolled around and my Skype subscription lapsed, I decided not to renew it because I still had credit from before I’d ever done the unlimited use subscriptions and I just hadn’t been using Skype enough to validate resubscribing this year.

Today, I get an email message from Skype (re:Microsoft), telling me that my remaining Skype credit is going to become inactive in six days for lack of use. But, I can keep it active by making a phone call with it or sending an SMS message with it. It just so happened that the computer I’m running today didn’t have Skype installed on it. So I had to go through the trouble of installing Skype on it because I didn’t feel like firing up the other box. Once installed, I couldn’t get Skype to allow me to login at first but was yielded an error of Skype cannot connect instead. Doing a search on their website about this issue just turns up results about something of a product brand name called Skype Connect. I end up stopping the application and restarting before I can get past this issue.

Okay, so now logged in, I try to make that call. But I can’t because the interface is constantly flashing the “Windows is thinking about something” behavior with the green Call button. Trying to click it during the brief moments when its active takes me to the call screen where it immediately hangs up! The user feedback in a situation like this is that I, the user, am not clicking things at the right time or something. So, rather than the number I’m trying to call, I choose the Echo/TestCall option instead. This call briefly works but then gives an error about the network connection between my computer and Skype having a problem. And it just hangs… FOREVER!

Years ago, quite a few months before Microsofts acquisition of Skype, I’d farted around with another VoIP service Voxox. The sound quality for the person I used for my guinea pig wasn’t good so I abandoned it at the time. After today’s useless Skype experience, I decided to revisit Voxox. Too my mild surprise, the whole install and use experience was totally positive. Guess who just got a purchase of $5 more Voxox credit?