Skype for Windows Phone 8 update disables People Hub integration
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is temporarily disabling People Hub integration with the latest version of its Skype application for Windows Phone 8 devices, citing device stability concerns.
People Hub enables Windows Phone 8 device users to more efficiently access contacts, initiate conversations via phone, text, IM or email, view Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter and LinkedIn updates, and create Rooms (invitation-only groups for sharing conversations as well as photos, notes and calendar items). With the release of the new Skype for Windows Phone 8 Preview 2.1, Microsoft is temporarily removing a feature supporting Skype calls directly from a contact card: "We are working with the Windows Phone team to resolve the issue and to enable the integration again in a future release," said Raul Liive, beta program manager of Microsoft's Skype Division. Skype background calls still work and users can continue receiving calls when the app is not running in the foreground.
Skype for Windows Phone 8 Preview 2.1 also adds an updated chat keyboard with improved autocomplete/autocorrect features, the option to "toast" notification from Windows Live Messenger contacts, and a series of performance and reliability enhancements.
Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion in cash in May 2011. In addition to Windows Phone, Skype supports Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. More than 45 percent of smartphone owners now use some form of instant messaging or over-the-top messaging app in addition to or instead of traditional SMS, according to a survey conducted in late 2012 by Analysys Mason; in addition, 20 percent of consumers use a VoIP app, and 20 percent within that segment use it more than conventional voice services. Analysys Mason notes that Skype dominates the VoIP market, with 79 percent of VoIP app users/16 percent of all respondents embracing the service.
- read this Skype Garage blog entry
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