For much of 2013, Windows Phone owners have been stuck with a version of Skype messaging plagued with issues after Microsoft forced its mobile users to switch over from Windows Live Messenger back in April. Now, the company says it will finally fix some of the issues with its Skype app, including out-of-sync messages, reappearing old messages and messages that never show up at all.
Speaking to The Verge, Skype product manager Jeff Kunins claimed Microsoft is hard at work fixing the problems and will roll out a solution “pretty soon.” The problem, he says, stems from Skype’s cloud-based infrastructure, which was never updated to support anything beyond the computer-to-computer voice and video calls that the service first became known for.
“It’s not that we’ve been trying our best to be amazing at chat for 10 year and sucking at it,” Kunins said. “It’s that we’ve been doing a great job doing what we were born to do and now people want more out of us and we’re making the investments to expand and be great at that too. We’re not there yet, but we will be.”
Kunins goes on to reveal that Microsoft is testing possible updates to its Skype app that will finally support message sync across all enabled devices. The software fix would mean that Skype will be able to tell which of your connected devices is active, and only ping that one with new notifications. Microsoft is also working to fix another issue which causes multiple devices to keep ringing even after you’ve answered a Skype call on one device, though a solution for this annoying problem won’t roll out as quickly.
Microsoft hasn’t said much about the long-overdue Windows Phone 8.1 update—at least not publicly—but Kunins took the opportunity to tease the new operating system, saying, “I think there will be some fun things to see there.” That’s a not a lot to go on, though based on previous reports we expect Windows Phone 8.1 to include a notification center, improved multitasking, and a cross-platform digital assistant codenamed Cortana. Microsoft may also use the launch as an opportunity to finally integrate Windows Phone and Windows RT, though we don’t expect the company to make an official announcement until early 2014.