Microsoft just debuted Skype Lite, a streamlined version of its popular communications app that's specifically "built for India." The solution was presented at Microsoft's Mumbai-based Future Decoded conference on Wednesday and the company's Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella explained how Skype Lite was designed to reliably operate with a limited Internet connectivity. The Android app is only 13MB in size and features support for nine regional languages. Additionally, Skype Lite also supports the Skype Bot platform that Microsoft opened up to third-party developers last spring. Thanks to chatbots, Skype Lite is not only a communications tool, but also a connected service that can keep you notified about local news, weather, sports results, and anything else you might be interested in.
The Skype Lite Android app utilizes the India Stack, a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) used by developers to reach Indian users in a secure and efficient manner. The so-called Aadhaar scheme is a part of the India Stack used by Skype Lite as this mechanism generates a unique numerical ID for each Indian which can then be used for the purposes of authentication. Nadella talked about several useful applications of this system and specifically highlighted the benefits it brings to job interviewers in India. For example, a recruiter might use Skype Lite to verify the identity of a job candidate before starting a video interview with them.
Skype Lite started rolling out on the Google Play Store earlier today and should already be available for download in India. As expected, the app is free and features no ads, just like all the other Android versions of Skype. Skype Lite requires Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich or newer, meaning the app should be compatible with a majority of active Android devices in India. As things stand right now, it seems unlikely that Skype Lite will make its way to developed countries, but the app may launch in more developing countries with emerging markets in the future. More information on the matter is bound to follow soon and in the meantime, hit the Google Play Store link below to download Skype Lite if you're located in India.