Windows Phone users stuck on version 7 will have to bid farewell to Skype within the next few weeks.
On a support page, Skype parent Microsoft posed the question: "Is Skype for Windows Phone 7 being discontinued?" The response? "Yes."
Sometime within the next few weeks, Skype will no longer be available in any form on Windows Phone 7, according to Microsoft. Further, those of you who already have Skype on your Windows Phone 7 handset will no longer be able to log in to the service.
So how big of a problem is that? In June 2012, Microsoft revealed that then-current Windows Phone devices could not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8 due to certain hardware demands. That was slightly more than two years ago. Assuming consumers held onto their existing Windows Phone 7 handsets for the the standard two-year contract, that means most would have upgraded to a new phone by now, most likely running Windows Phone 8. Anyone still using a Windows Phone 7 device, though, would be out of luck.
Why not continue to support the WP7 version?
"We want everyone to experience the best Skype has to offer -- from enhanced quality to better reliability to improved security -- and the newest version of Skype is the way to do that," Microsoft said on its support page. "So everyone can benefit from the latest improvements, we sometimes retire older versions of Skype across all platforms, including mobile devices. For that reason, we are permanently retiring all Skype apps for Windows Phone 7."
Microsoft will keep Skype alive for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 as well as competing mobile platforms.
There may be one problem for Skype users still on Windows Phone 7. Many who use the popular instant-messaging program are tied into a subscription and perhaps use the software only on their phone. Another Skype support page explains how you can cancel your subscription to avoid further bills. And if you cancel the service before the end of a month, you can also request a refund by following the steps on yet another Skype support page.