Win Phone 7 users aghast Microsoft axed Skype for their phones

Skype can no longer be used on Windows Phone 7 devices

Owners of Windows Phone 7 smartphones are apoplectic that Skype no longer works on their devices.

Commenting on the official Skype support forum, affected users say they're in disbelief at Microsoft's decision to not only stop support for Skype, but go further and make it unusable on their smartphones.

A number of those complaining are heavy Skype users, so losing access to it from their Windows Phone 7 devices is crippling to their daily work and life.

To make matters worse, these people find themselves unable to upgrade their smartphones to Windows Phone 8 or 8.1, because Windows Phone 7 devices don't support the newer OS. So in order to use Skype from a mobile phone they'll have to change their devices.

They're also angry that Microsoft is still supporting Skype on older iOS and Android versions. Skype still runs on Android phones with version 2.3 or higher of the OS, iPhone 4 devices with iOS 6 or higher and BlackBerry devices with version 10 of that OS.

Axing Skype on Windows Phone 7 is necessary for application performance, quality and security reasons, according to Microsoft.

"We are permanently retiring all Skype apps for Windows Phone 7. As a result, within the next few weeks, you'll no longer be able to sign in and use Skype on any Windows Phone 7 device," reads a Microsoft message on Skype's support site.

Microsoft advises paying Skype subscribers who only access the VoIP and IM app via their Windows Phone 7 devices to cancel it, so that they won't get billed for a service they can no longer use.

"Way to treat your customers Microsoft. I was perfectly happy with my Lumia 800, now I'm forced to upgrade? I will be upgrading to Android or iOS," wrote a user identified as "utopian201."

Another person, with the user name "mobilelucky," wrote in a different thread that Microsoft is clueless with regards to its mobile strategy. "This is bad; like many here, I use skype to make international [calls] everyday. No way I will get a windows 8 phone," this person wrote.

"Typical Microsoft. They always treat the customer badly. Really regret buying the WP7. I will be switching to Android for sure," fumed "MJustin."

A commenter identified as "ekyx" is a paying Skype subscriber, bought a Windows Phone 7 device only six months ago, and doesn't have money to buy a new one just now. "This is not the way to treat clients. That is not fair."

Affected users are also venting their frustration on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets.

Microsoft announced in September that it wouldn't release more updates for Windows Phone 7, but it didn't say that it planned to disable the application, as it has now decided to do.

In fact, back then, Microsoft said the Skype app for Windows Phone 7 would "remain available to download in the Windows Phone Store, so users can still keep using the core Skype experiences, such as Chat, Voice and Video Calls."

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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