Microsoft will discontinue Skype Wi-Fi hot spot service on March 31
Why it matters to you
If you use Skype Wi-Fi to source internet access when you’re out and about, you’ll need to find a replacement.
Microsoft has announced plans to discontinue its Skype Wi-Fi service, which will go into effect at the end of next month. The application will be delisted, and the service itself will no longer function after March 31, 2017.
Skype Wi-Fi gave users the option to connect to one of over 2 million hot spots around the world, paying for their usage with Skype Credit. The app was available across Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, and served as a convenient alternative to signing up with different Wi-Fi providers for Skype users who were on the move.
Microsoft is apparently retiring Skype Wi-Fi so that it can focus its efforts on core Skype features, according to a report from MS Power User. It remains to be seen whether its hot spot functionality will be reinstated elsewhere in the Windows ecosystem.
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The company already offers a very similar service in the form of Microsoft Wi-Fi, an app that’s exclusive to Windows 10 PCs. While there’s a slim chance that both services are set to be retired, it seems more likely that Skype Wi-Fi is being phased out in favor of Microsoft Wi-Fi.
This would allow Microsoft to retain its existing relationships with hot spot operators, while culling one of two very similar services. The fact that Microsoft Wi-Fi is branded with the company’s name rather than Windows suggests that the services could be offered to users on various devices, much like Skype Wi-Fi.
Skype Wi-Fi users with leftover Skype Credit will be able to use any remaining funds to make calls and send text messages using the standard Skype app. However, if they’re not interested in using their credit on anything other than internet access, they can also contact Skype customer service to get a full refund.