Newsletter Archives

  • Microsoft’s calling confusion: Teams, Meet Now, or Skype?


    Peter Deegan

    By Peter Deegan

    Microsoft has a split personality when it comes to video and audio calling. There’s Skype, Skype for Business, Teams calling/meetings, and “Meet Now” in Windows 11.

    All three can do the same basic thing — computer-to-computer video/audio calls and meetings. What’s the difference, which one to use, and what’s the future of all these overlapping Microsoft options?

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.49.0 (2021-12-20).

  • How to make friends with Skype


    Lance Whitney

    In these days of home sequestering, it’s good to have a selection of communication options.

    Microsoft’s Skype is one of the easier choices because it comes standard with Windows 10. But it can also be installed on other platforms including Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and earlier versions of Windows. It can even run as a Google Chrome extension. So almost anyone with a digital device can use it to connect with others.

    Since acquiring Skype in 2011, Microsoft has added a variety of new features — to the point where some folks find the program overwhelming and awkward to use. Fortunately, there are easy ways to make it smoother and more friendly for general chatting and video conferencing.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.14.0 (2020-04-13).

  • Calling all Teams, Slack and Zoom gurus

    There’s lots of competition right now for free collaboration/meeting software.

    Microsoft says that use of Teams has spiked 40% in the past week.

    Slack says it’s added 7,000 new users in the past seven weeks.

    Zoom hasn’t released any usage numbers lately (at least none I’ve found), but I’m seeing lots and lots of references to it. Kids in my son’s school are all over it.

    And, yes, I know there’s Skype for Business and Cisco. Go boomers.

    Each is different, and there are certain situations where each has obvious benefits.

    What I want to know is if you have specific, real-world experience with any two of them and, if so, which did you end up using more frequently? Why?

  • Patch Lady – Skype gets a reprieve

    You may have already seen this in the Askwoody lounge but for once Microsoft listened to customer feedback.

    I have seen many many many longtime users of Skype say that they are looking for alternatives due to all of the changes.  Just like the Windows 10 upgrades on 7, you’ve had to watch carefully in the Skype dialog boxes to not get upgraded.  So if you are a classic Skype user, watch those update/upgrade dialog boxes in the Skype interface as it just might try to trip you up.

    I can’t believe I’m pointing to this…but there is guidance on ways to block the upgrade prompts in this forum post.

  • You Will No Longer Be Able to Use Skype on Older Windows Devices and TVs

    “Next Generation Skype” will mean an end of support for Skype on Windows Phone, RT and TV from July 1.

    Skype (for mobiles) will now be available on:
    – Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary update or higher
    – iOS 8 or higher
    – Android OS 4.0.3 or higher (ARMv7 processor devices get full support; ARMv6 will not have video calling supported)
    Full system requirements are listed on

    Brad Sams, writing on, said:

    If you are using Skype on Windows Phone 8 or 8.1, Windows RT, the messaging app for Windows 10 Mobile, or on a TV, these apps will stop working on July 1, 2017. The company has started notifying users on these platforms that these applications will cease to function after this date.

    If you are using these apps, after July 1, 2017 you are left with few options. If you can access a web browser, you can use Skype on the web but as for native apps, you’ll need a new piece of hardware to be able to access the platform.

    And given how much Microsoft values monthly active users of its software, seeing as they are ending support for these platforms tells us that the user base is incredibly small on these platforms.’s David Pierce‘s article “Skype Hopes Its Redesign Takes It Beyond Video Chat” discusses the “next generation”:

    Microsoft wants Skype to be a social network for the people you know. Skype calls it your “personal network” of family, friends, and colleagues. The app eschews a public side entirely—like Snapchat before stories, or Facebook before you could mark anything public. In use, Skype is now super-optimized for chat. A much cleaner interface displays your chats on the home screen and stores everything else off to the side. There’s a nifty-but-huge indicator for unread message that undulates like a soundwave. You can still make voice and video calls, but the redesign prioritizes texting.

    It is somewhat surprising to see that desktop version of Skype can still be used on Windows XP SP3 (using IE 8 or higher), Vista, and with IE 11 on Windows 7 SP1.

  • Cortana should be dancing in the streets

    Qi Lu leaves, Cortana and Bing to Shum, Office and Pall’s Skype go to Jha: This morning saw a breathtaking push to put Cortana in the driver’s seat.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • New third party program updates

    Randy the Tech Professor has a list of the latest versions of important programs that you may be running:

    Chrome, Java, Opera, Foxit, Skype, Flash Player, Acrobat Reader.

    Here’s Randy’s listing.

  • Tuesday’s ‘optional’ Windows patch KB 2876229 can hijack your browser

    Remember how I recommend that you never, ever check an update that’s unchecked?

    Here’s one reason why.

    InfoWorld Tech Watch

  • Microsoft kills Skype third-party tools for the desktop

    The announcement came last July, but the general Skype user community is only now starting to figure out the impact.

    InfoWorld Tech Watch

  • Where were you when you last used Skype?

    The Western press is just starting to catch up, but it looks like we’re days — maybe hours — away from a scenario like this:

    You know someone’s Skype ID. You go to a web site, type in the ID, and the web site tells you the last IP address where that Skype ID was used. From the IP address it’s easy to find their location — to a greater or lesser degree, give or take a proxy — using an IP tracking site such as ipTrackerOnline. You can look up the name of their Internet Service Provider using the IP lookup service.

    More than that, the Skype tattling web site can tell you the local IP address of the machine running Skype —, say. So at least in theory you can track down precisely which machine was running Skype the last time that Skype ID was used.

    We aren’t quite there yet. At this point, it appears as if the person with the tracked Skype ID has to be using Skype at the time you put through a trace. It isn’t clear if the Skype security hole is big enough to divulge historic locations. But it’s quite clear that Skype has a privacy hole of unexpected proportions. The person with the Skype ID doesn’t have to be on your contact list. And it’s a silent finger: the person you’re tracking doesn’t have any idea that you’ve dug up their IP addresses.

    Russian hacking blogs have been lit up with details for several days. The steps to perform a manual trace were posted on pastebin on April 26. The Russian site had a proof of concept online tracker that was working last night but, as of this moment, is down.

    Skype/Microsoft’s statement: “We are investigating reports of a new tool that allegedly captures a Skype user’s last known IP address. This is an ongoing, industry-wide issue faced by all peer-to-peer software companies… We are committed to the safety and security of our customers and we are takings measures to help protect them.”

  • Microsoft offers $8.5 B for What?

    I’m still shaking my head.

    InfoWorld Tech Watch.

  • eBay selling Skype for $ 1.9 billion

    That’s what Reuters says.

    Marc Andreessen obviously knows more than I do.