Skype promises better multi-device support in near-future
Skype has told Pocket-lint that it sees the future of the company as a multi-device experience as it continues to work towards allowing people to access messages on the service as if it were apart of the "everyday conversation".
"Our world has changed to multi-device usage. We need to nail the multi-device use case," Karlheinz Wurm, general manager in product and test for Skype and Lync real-time media at Microsoft told Pocket-lint when we visited Skype Stockholm.
As Skype multi-device users will know, logging in with multiple devices across either the same or different platform can cause problems, with the messages you missed flooding your inbox and the subsequent minutes waiting for the service to catch up. It's something Wurm says the company is aware of and trying to address.
"This is top of our mind. We need to be more cloud centric so information is synced better between devices," he says.
One of the problems is that Skype has come from a desktop client and is now having to cope with its millions of users shifting to different devices in the so-called Post-PC era.
"We've started that journey. We've come from a company that is very desktop centric," adds Wurm. "We are making those changes, some have come, some are coming. Over the next five to six months sync and battery should be addressed. That is our focus across all platforms. We have so many users so it is alway a challenge."
It's a focus that has become even more important as the market gets more and more flooded with rival messaging apps from the likes of Google with Hangouts, iMessages from Apple, and more nimble start-ups like WhatsApp.
"It's really great there is more choice for the consumer. It's great, because it stimulates us to do better. I appreciate competition. We are going to stay focused so that everything works so you don't need to go elsewhere," says Wurm confidently.
Acknowledging that Skype is very good at video, but not very good at "a-sync chat" at the moment Wurm reiterated his earlier statements.
"We have to catch up in that space against companies like WhatsApp. It is strategically important to be in that area. We see it as an on-ramp to encourage people using our video service."
But it's not just trying to cope with multiple devices. Skype says that it has a long list of features that it wants to add, but that most are based on priority of how much affect they will have to the community as a whole.
Those priorities include everything from looking at making group video calls free in the near-future to adding typing suppression so that the whoever is talking isn't drowned out by keyboard tapping.
What is clear, however, is that the company and Wurm aren't standing still, suggesting that it has plenty of interesting things in store for its users in the very near future.