Replacing Skype

Michael Watterson's picture

Microsoft already converted Skype Data Centre based by migration of the Super Nodes. So now MS (or NSA) can snoop on everything. The process of Skype< becoming more buggy since the Vista version (before MS purchase) has
continued with newer versions of Skype Client using 100% CPU on Windows 7 on fairly new computers!

Since June 2014 though, MS has been blocking the log in of more and more users still running older (often better such as 3.8) Skype Clients.
Gadgets and TVs with manufacturer preloaded Skype can't be updated.
They are doing this to move to a new prototcol, probably part of integration to Sharepoint. MS Messenger is also getting killed off. Many users can't run Skype at all or find it uses too much CPU on Windows.

Retiring of old versions:
On June 20, 2014, Microsoft announced plans to retire Skype for Windows Desktop running version 6.13 or below, the move was completed on August 8, 2014 and all users running Skype 6.13 or earlier were signed out of Skype and could not sign back in.

See also BBC Article "MSN Messenger to end<"

Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger will be switched off in China in October, marking a final end to the 15-year-old service.

Originally known as MSN Messenger, it was launched in 1999 but was switched off for most users in 2013, after Microsoft bought rival Skype.
Users in China continued to use the old service but will now be transferred to Skype by 31 October.
Windows Live still had as many as 330 million users as recently as 2009.
But those numbers later declined, while users of Skype rose to nearly 300 million by 2012.
The service came to China in 2005, but later faced stiff competition from domestic rivals such as QQ messenger, built by Chinese firm Tencent.

After extensive research we found that the best alternative is QQ messenger< from Tencent<. It is free. It's NOT just for Chinese.

Who are Tencent?

  • Chinese, but registered originally in Cayman Islands they built their profitable business selling services and games to Mobile users in China.
  • Fourth largest Internet company in the World.
  • Second only to Facebook in Social Media (in terms of direct interaction rather than just accounts using the "like" button, possibly larger).
  • possibly one billion Messaging users on QQ and related Tencent products
  • About 90% of Internet users in China use Tencent.
  • Recently added English Clients
  • Support almost every Desktop, Mobile and Tablet platform

QQ Messenger features everything Skype does, plus extra features only as plug ins on Skype, often paid.

  • Instant Messaging in English (or Chinese, and translation). Images can be pasted.
  • Built in Translation (Most Languages, using Google Translate and another system too). Send just translation or both. Translate received message.
  • User emoticons
  • Built in Sketchpad / paint / whiteboard sort of thing.
  • File Transfer
  • Application Portal
  • VOIP
  • Video Chat
  • Categories for contacts
  • Groups
  • Remote Desktop option
  • Screen capture

There are four steps to use, just like all other systems:

  1. Create an account here.<Write down your email, username, password in a safe place. Not kept with phone/tablet/laptop case!
  2. Download a client here< or on a Mobile device use your "store"
  3. Click on emailed response from (1) to enable your account. Write down your account number on the paper in (1)
  4. Install and set it up. Untick any extras such as Internet Protection. Like Skype you need to change some default privacy. The only additional thing I needed was to change Screen Capture from Ctrl + Alt + A to Ctrl + Alt + G as that is also Altgr A needed for á and Á.

Later I will add screen shots and step by step install instructions. Unlike Skype there are no extra services added. It runs a main program and a background process and quits when you select it. Very low CPU usage. The Windows version is even fine on 12 year old laptop with XP. It is  in Android Playstore and Windows Store for Windows Mobile, Should be on iTunes, but I didn't check. Direct downloads are also available including Linux and Mac OS. The built in translation feature can be used without actually sending a message.