Older versions of the Skype desktop app for Linux will no longer work from July 1 this year, Skype has said.
“All Skype for Linux client version 4.3 and older will be retired on July 1, 2017. To keep chatting, please install the latest version of Skype for Linux,” a notice on the Skype for Linux download page reads.
Skype 4.3 is the most recent version of the native Qt Linux Skype client, and was released way back in August 2014.
Linux users aren’t left entirely incommunicado though.
Skype for Linux Beta 5.3 is available to download and is not affected by this change.
Although you can now make video calls through it, Skype for Linux 5.3 lacks features that users of the VoIP client rely on, like screen sharing, API access, and advanced video and audio control. It has only superficial desktop integration.
Don’t Be Shocked; We Told You This Was Coming
‘Electron-based Skype for Linux Beta 5.3 is not affected’
If you’re a regular read of this website you won’t be shocked by this news.
We told you earlier in the year that older versions of the Skype desktop apps on Windows and macOS were to be forcibly deprecated on March 1, but that the Qt-based VoIP client for Linux had a temporary reprieve.
‘Temporary’ because, as a Skype rep made plain back at the time, deprecation was inevitable: “As we move forward some functions may stop working correctly on these older builds [and we] may have to retire those builds.”
Microsoft, in a statement earlier this year, reiterated its support for cross-platform solution, but suggested that the best way to provide this was with “…web-based native version of Skype for other supported platforms [which] benefit from the latest ORTC or WebRTC technology”.
With yet another Skype revamp in the midst of rolling out (sans Linux support, no less) you could use this announcement as incentive to play around with Skype alternatives like the privacy-minded Wire, the popular Telegram, or the often overlooked Viber.
Do you still use the Skype Qt client? Have you already switched to an alternative VoIP service? Let us know in the comments.