Microsoft is continuing its expansion in the Indian mobile market with the launch of Skype Lite. Announced by CEO Satya Nadella today, the service is built for customers in India. Specifically, for areas of the country with low connection bandwidth.
Nadella was speaking today at the Future Decoded conference in Mumbai. By creating a version of Skype catered to Indian customers, the company is furthering its push in the country. With over one billion people and an underdeveloped tech sector, India is a frontier for companies. Microsoft has targeted expansion in the country over several years.
Skype Lite will be launching solely on Android now. This makes sense as Google's mobile OS is the runaway market leader in India. The country is one of the few places where Apple's iOS has virtually no presence.
As the name suggests, Skype Lite is a smaller and lighter build of the regular communication service. Microsoft says it is more friendly in terms of data usage on calls and messages. This makes it viable for the low connection areas in India.
While saving money from less data consumption is a positive result, it is not the primary goal of Skype Lite. Instead, it is the service's ability to work with lower data connections. This allows the version to work on 2G networks.
Skype Lite Details
Microsoft has introduced several bundled features alongside the new Skype version. The company has included SMS filtering. This allows customers to automatically remove promotional or spam texts from their inbox.
Skype Lite also supports the controversial Aadhaar initiative. Created by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the requirement assigns a 12-digit number to all Indian citizens. Skype Lite complies with Aadhaar by identifying unknown numbers.
While Aadhaar is cause for controversy, it is implemented and here to stay. Skype Lite will support it by allowing users to verify incoming callers with numbers unknown.