Users of the Skype desktop applications for Windows and OS X will need to update to the latest versions of the app in order to maintain access to the service, Microsoft announced Friday. The company is “retiring” older versions of the software “over the next few months” in order to move all users to the most recent code and feature base.
Skype for Windows 6.13 and Skype for Mac 6.14 represent the version cut-off for each operating system. When Microsoft eventually implements its forced “retirement” plans in the next few months, any user running those versions or older will be unable to log in to Skype until they upgrade to the latest version.
Microsoft has recently made changes to its Skype service, making group video calling free for all users in April, and releasing a redesigned iPhone app earlier this month. The latest versions of the desktop Skype software also enable new features such as the ability to send and receive messages while offline and sync chat history across multiple devices. Microsoft presumably wants to ensure that all customers are running at a minimum level of functionality as it continues to make changes to the service in the future, a strategy similar to the way that the company is handling Windows 8.1 updates.
The current versions of Skype as of the date of this article are 6.16 for Windows desktop and 6.18 for OS X. Mac users should note, however, that Skype for Mac 6.18 requires OS X Mavericks or later. Users still on OS X Mountain Lion or older will have to pick up Skype 6.15 (those downloading Skype from the official website will automatically get the most recent compatible version for their operating system). It also appears at this time that Skype for Linux and Windows 8 “Metro” (a.k.a. modern) are not affected by Microsoft’s retirement plans.