March 2017 will see the end of Skype Wi-Fi as Microsoft retires the service to focus on other Skype based services.
Currently, Skype Wi-Fi enables users to connect to a Wi-Fi service or ‘hotspot’ to make calls and will automatically notify them if that hotspot is supported. However, from the 31st March the application will no longer be available for download and existing installations of the program will no longer work.
Microsoft’s Skype support page states: “From 31st March 2017, Skype Wi-Fi will no longer be available. You won’t be able to download the Skype Wi-Fi application, and if you still have Skype Wi-Fi installed after 31st March, the application will no longer be able to find and use hotspots.”
Microsoft has stated that the service was being discontinued as part of a product refocus. “We are retiring Skype Wi-Fi globally so we can better focus our efforts on bringing you the best possible experience through our core Skype features,” it added.
Microsoft acquired the Internet telephony and communications services company in a 2011 deal worth more than $8.5bn. When making the acquisition, Microsoft said Skype would be a new business division of the company. Skype itself was founded in 2003.
After announcing the termination of Skype Wi-Fi, Microsoft added: “The Skype division will continue to offer its current products to millions of users globally.” Microsoft further commented: “Longer term, Skype will also be integrated across an array of Microsoft products to broaden Skype’s reach and accelerate its growth as a fundamental way that people communicate online.”
That’s as maybe, but it will be without the Skype Wi-Fi App and extensions that look unlikely to ever see the light of day, or the ‘heat of spot’ again.