Microsoft seeks Indian customers with exclusive Skype Lite app

The new app is designed to run faster, use less data and be more power-efficient

IDG

IDG

There’s a growing population of Skype users in India, and Microsoft wants to capitalize on that with the launch of Skype Lite, a new app that’s designed to be more useful in that market.

The app allows users to send and receive Skype messages, plus make video and audio calls to both users of the Lite version and the full version of Microsoft’s app. Skype Lite is supposed to be optimized for delivering a good experience over rough network conditions, which is key for India where high-speed cellular data is harder to come by.

Building a special app for India makes sense, as the country hosts a large and still growing smartphone market. Skype faces a crowded competitive landscape in the messaging market, which also includes Kik, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, Telegram and a host of other competitors.

In addition to the network optimizations, Skype Lite is also built to be fast and more power-efficient. Microsoft introduced a special “Eco Calling” mode that’s designed to minimize data usage while making voice and video calls over a cellular network.

The app will show users how much data that they have used making calls, both over cellular data and Wi-Fi.

In keeping with Microsoft’s overall focus on bots, the company is also including a number of bots specific to India with Skype Lite. Users will be able to converse with the bots through Skype Lite in the same way that they would in the traditional Skype app.

It’s a hyper-localized app that is right now only available to Android users through the Google Play store in India. The app supports seven local languages: Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. It’s unclear if Microsoft plans to release a version for other markets in the future.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft used the Skype Lite name for an Android app. The company launched an app called Skype Lite in 2009 as its first entry onto Android and Java phones, but that product was retired sometime later. Microsoft is also no stranger to building lightweight versions of Skype for India. The Indian Express reported in 2015 that a Microsoft spokesperson said that the company was working on a version of Skype built to work well on 2G and 3G networks.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?