Microsoft’s latest build version of Skype Preview seems to have shifted to the Electron framework instead of Facebook’s React Native. The change was spotted by Aggiornamenti Lumia and in an accompanying screenshot we can see Electron named.

It is worth noting this is for Skype Preview v8.58.76.92. Florian B chipped in by saying moving away from React Native means several features have left the application. Those features include:

  • People app integration
  • Syncing with OUtlook
  • Automatic Microsoft account sign in
  • App pausing and working in the background
  • A title bar that follows Fluent Design guidelines
  • In-line notifications

Interestingly, Skype Preview has also reverted to using an old app icon. It is unclear why Microsoft has made this decision. Furthermore, Florian B says the OS call integration and push notification features have also been removed.

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Why Microsoft would severely limit the functionality of Skype is unclear. However, it is worth remembering this is Skype Preview, so changes could be made before the build reaches the public.

You may remember Microsoft embraced React Native on Skype back in 2018 and seemingly abandoned Electron. While some saw it as a shift away from UWP, Microsoft insisted it was committed to its Universal Windows Platform.

It will be interesting to see Microsoft’s reasoning behind switching back to Electron or whether that is even the long terms strategy. We’ll keep you updated on the details when they become known.

Free Skype

Last week, Microsoft announced Skype video and Meetings will be free during the COVID-19 outbreak that has seen millions of people confined to working from home.

Skype Meetings is a browser-based tool that lets you leverage the full power of the software without the need to sign up. You can record calls, blur your background, and share your screen when necessary.

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