When Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion back in 2011, a lot of people questioned how the video messaging service would be, going forward. Since then Skype has become a very powerful communication platform available on a wide range of devices and deeply integrated with Microsoft’s ecosystem of apps and services, including Outlook. In October 2014, Microsoft released Skype Qik, a new app aimed to compete with Snapchat by offering a way for users to share quick videos. however, despite having more than 1 million downloads in the Play Store, the ephemeral messaging didn’t really stick around and Microsoft has decided to shut it down on March 24th.
The announcement was made this Monday (22) via the official Skype blog and the company explained that most Qik features have already been incorporated into the main Skype app. In fact, Microsoft has been giving a lot of attention to Skype lately, bringing it on par with current big players in the instant messaging market – mainly WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Qik’s purpose was to allow users to send quick videos as messages, and the same can be done via Skype by tapping the “video message” icon in the media bar. The shutdown won’t be sudden, though, and users will have about a month from now to save any special messages. After the final day, all the content will be gone and users won’t be able to post anything else.
Even though Microsoft’s endeavor with smartphones is not doing that well, as Windows Phone seems to be less relevant each day, the company is making a great job in dominating the scene for its rival platforms – Android and iOS. As a result, Microsoft has released a plethora of apps for both systems, including their Office suite and the acclaimed e-mail client Outlook (which is a rebranded version of a purchased email app). Microsoft has a special division, called Garage, and it is responsible for releasing experimental apps, with new products coming out of their door every once in a while. Some of them have become mainstream successes, while others are just experiments and their features end up being incorporated into other well-established Microsoft products.