New Skype 8 problems

Ok let’s review what happens from my last update on Skype 8 that I did April 26th. I did install 2 or 3 updates to Skype 8 and well, saga about Skype problems continues.

Few days ago, I was seeing strange problem: my wife calling me on Skype, but I didn’t hear any ringing on my phone or my desktop app. And after my wife stopped calling then I will see notification about missed call. This was happening for about 2 days. Really strange and annoying because my wife is wasting time and I’m not aware about her calling me until I check Skype window.

Then another problem shown up. Now when my wife calling me, only my phone is ringing and desktop app completely ignoring this fact. Even more annoying because I’m trying to answer it on desktop, and it takes about 10 seconds to realize that I cannot do anything there and I have to answer it on the phone. And all this time my phone annoying everyone around me. I seen about 3 times after updating to Skype 8.

Then yet another problem happened: Skype just froze and do not respond at all. And old problem with disappearing Skype 8 icon in notification area still there. I have to close and restart Skype 8 few times per week.

While as software engineer, I totally understand why these problems happens and I’m sure that Microsoft eventually will fix them. But key point that Microsoft also understand that these problems will happen. They rewrote whole application and first year there will be a lot of problems like this. What I don’t understand why they didn’t try to make this transition as easy as possible? Slowly replacing bits of old application by doing small controlled changes. It will take longer but it will not alienate customer base and will help to identify and localize problem. Instead they decided to throw everything away, created new UI and create new user experience.

People are slaves of their habits. When you use Skype for 10 years and press some button and then you move it, then people are upset. I changed key shortcut that switch language from Alt+Shift to Win+Space in Windows 10 about 1.5 years ago and I still some time press Alt+Shift. I still sometimes try to unlock my iPhone by swipe instead of pressing Home button. And if for whatever reason you as developer actually need to move this button, then you need to sweeten deal. Apple add ability to switch to camera without unlocking phone. And while change was painful, I understand that now I can switch to camera without unlocking and save quite some time and as result new interface became more convenient.

Microsoft did something like that with Office when they switched to Ribbon. And while it is really annoying for me personally, I do understand that for non-expert users it became much better and I do understand that having menu and Ribbon is not an option as it will be quite costly to support.

I probably will repeat myself but in case of new Skype they didn’t make it better. They make it different. And as result, pain of relearning was not eased by having new productivity features. Perhaps I was right and team that did write new Skype never seen old Skype. Only this can explain everything happened to Skype.