Skype Update Removes Google Product Bundling

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 16, 2011

With Skype now being a Microsoft Division it was clear that some things had to change. There is still a lot of speculating going on in this regard. The Skype development team has released Skype 5.6 for the Windows operating system and an update for Skye 5.5 that removes the Google product bundling from the software's installation process. Up until now Skype users on Windows had the option to install the Google Toolbar on their operating system during the installation of the Skype voice over IP software. This bundling has now been removed with the released update.

But this was not the only cooperation that Skype had with Google. Skype users who ran automatic updates of the software received options to install the free Google Chrome browser with those updates.

This has probably been more of a issue to Microsoft than the inclusion of the Google Toolbar in the installation process, especially since the Google Toolbar is only compatible with Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

For now Skype users who install the software on Windows will see no third party product offers. Less toolbars is always a good idea. Some users on the other hand have speculated that it is only a matter of time before Microsoft starts promoting its own products with Skype. The logical choice at this point in time would be to add the Bing Toolbar to Skype. Then again, this would certainly infuriate some Skype users.

The Skype update has also fixed two issues. The first issue was a memory leak in the Skype Firefox plugin, the second a crash of the Skype software at startup on Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

One question remains though: Why is Skype maintaining two different versions of their software on Windows? What's the difference between Skype 5.5 and Skype 5.6 that justifies two versions?

According to a speculative forum post on the Skype community forum it is to "compare user behavior". Another user in the same thread suggested that the version difference has been introduced to test in-call advertising.

windows users can download the latest version of Skype on the announcement post over at the Skype blog.


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  1. jfjb said on October 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    why do ‘they’ persist in ‘offering’ a FaceBook tab instead of allowing a plugin?
    why not ‘offering’ a Republican or Vegetarian tab?
    I don’t get it, not everyone agrees on the absolute necessity to be ever on FaceBook — or Republican or Vegetarian — all the f***** time, or is it just me?
    I respect diversity, pluralism and interoperability. I enjoy extensions, mods and add-ons. I do not care to be forced to have a hard-coded remotely-ancillary ‘option’ to the product I use for its core design and implementation.
    Any word of wisdom here?
    Maybe I need to change my medication. :))

    1. jfjb said on October 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      P.S. so, as they’ve done to Google product(s), why doesn’t Skype offer the option to install a FaceBook extension?
      Am I rambling and you’re got my point before?

  2. PRASHANT said on October 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm


  3. ParisMan said on October 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    +1 for the integration in Windows Live.
    Messenger users will at last discover and make use of the (long time) built-in phone calling capabilities of their “favorite” chatting software.

    And Microsoft certainly wants its share of the Big Voip pie towards which Google (close competition) and others are heading.

    Having their own phone platforms Microsoft & Google shall play a very strategic role within the phone calling arena in general. They would take the upper hand when dealing with the big operators Vodafone, Orange…as they are not only providing them with the equipment, but they will be developing their own phone network.

    The future is bright for we consumer, hopefully.

  4. Paul(us) said on October 16, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Hoi Martin, I think Microsoft is going to promote Microsoft Internet explorer 8 and MS-IE9 whit it. Any thoughts about the possibility that Skype disappears as a free product and get totally integrated (What means you got to pay for it) in the upcoming Windows 8 or Windows 9?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      Paulus I personally do not think that they will turn Skype into a commercial only product. They would alienate much of the service’s user base which in my opinion is one of the reasons why they bought Skype in the first place. Skype will remain free IMHO and will be integrated in many Microsoft products. I would not be surprised to see it integrated in Windows 8 or Windows Live.

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