Skype Pulls Windows Mobile Apps; No Word of Return
Skype's VoIP apps for the Windows Mobile operating system, Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Phones, are no longer available for download, the company announced, claiming the apps didn't offer a good enough experience.
The popular Internet calling service has seen hurdles in the mobile arena, where its use threatens wireless carriers' business model. On the iPhone calling is limited to Wi-Fi and on Google Android it's even more complicated. But Skype has actually called quits on Windows Mobile for now.
The company wrote on its blog: "Skype Lite only works in a small number of countries. Where it does work, making a call requires you to use up your allocation of minutes from your mobile network, making the Skype-to-Skype calls sort-of-free-per-minute rather than actually-free-per-minute."
The lack of mobile operator partners and the latest version of Windows Mobile have made it difficult for Skype to keep up offering a similar experience across a wide range of handsets, the company claims. Skype didn't mention anything about the declining market share of Windows Mobile devices.
Although Skype has now removed Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Phones downloads from its site, if you already downloaded Skype onto your Windows Mobile phone, the application can still be used indefinitely. Outside the U.S., Skype for Windows Phones is still available for download for now.
It is unclear so far whether Skype is developing a new version of its software for the newly announced Windows Phone 7 Series.
Mobile operators, though, are Skype's solution to a better mobile experience. On step in that direction is the company's new partnership with Verizon in the U.S., which brings the software on range of BlackBerry devices and some Android phones, including the Motorola Droid and Droid Eris from HTC.
Under the new partnership, users can make and receive unlimited free Skype-to-Skype voice calls to anyone around the globe or call regular phone numbers at lower rates.