Microsoft is retiring its Skype WiFi hotspot service at the end of this month. As of March 31, 2017, users will not be able to download the Skype WiFi application. Existing users will be unable to find and connect to hotspots around the world using the app once the deadline has passed.
So, why has Microsoft come to this decision? If you remember, Microsoft WiFi was launched a while ago, which allows Windows 10 device users access to hotspots all over the world under a paid plan, similar to how you use Skype Credit for Skype WiFi.
Could this be a Microsoft marketing tactic to get people to adopt Windows 10 in a more widespread manner? We know that Windows 10 adoption hasn’t been on fire, so to speak, and the new OS version is only on 25.19% of desktops around the world as of February 2017.
Interestingly, Windows 7 market share has actually grown to 48.41%, and is one of the biggest hurdles for Microsoft right now.
Even the ‘warning that sounded too much like a threat’ that came out of Microsoft’s German blog a while ago didn’t seem to help. In fact, Microsoft likely lost a lot of credibility over that incident.
As for retiring Skype WiFi, we could see it as a clear message to users of all older Windows versions that they can’t access global hotspots unless they’re on Windows 10 and running Windows WiFi.
Another possible reason – again, related to Windows 10 – is that Skype for Windows 10 brings a whole slew of new features that you won’t find on the classic Skype application. These features can’t be used on any other version of Windows, which could be one of the motivating factors for Microsoft to retire Skype WiFi.
We don’t know if this is yet another marketing ploy by Microsoft to push Windows 10 into more desktops ahead of Windows 10 Creators Update later this month, but it may well be.
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