In a gutsy move, VoIP operator Skype has—for the moment, anyway—turned its back on Windows Mobile phones, announcing in a blog post that its Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Phone applications are no longer available. The reason: the applications did not offer “a great Skype experience.” Users who already have the applications can continue using them—Skype is not reaching Big Brother-like into users’ phones and disabling the applications—but new users will not be able to download fresh copies to new devices.
Skype says it has withdrawn Skype for WIndows Phone because the latest version of Windows mobile makes it too difficult to “maintain an app which behaves as you’d expect” across a broad range of devices. Skype has not worked with carriers to produce versions of its Windows Mobile Skype application for particular networks or handsets, offering instead a single application aimed at all Windows Mobile devices. Skype Lite only operated in a small number of countries, and ate up users mobile minutes when making Skype-to-Skype calls.
Skype did not mention whether it is developing a version of its VoIP software for Microsoft”s recently-announced Windows Phone 7 Series. Skype is available for the iPhone, where calling is currently limited to Wi-Fi connections; a version of Skype os also available for Google Android.
Skype recently announced a partnership with U.S. mobile operator Verizon Wireless that will offer free Skype-to-Skype calling applications for BlackBerry and Android phones beginning in March.