Microsoft ups its ante, launches Skype Lite for India

|February 22, 2017 0

Thomas George

On his three-day visit to India, Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation, has made a series of announcements and one of the  biggest one made at the Future Decoded conference today is the launch of ‘Skype Lite’, exclusively built for India market.

One and a half decade back, Skype was launched on PC platform which consumed constant power and high speed internet accesses, but today it is widely used on smaller form factors and devices like mobile and tablets. Skype brings people together and help them to communicate with each other across the globe.  It has many used cases and users are communicating and connecting with many people on several networks.

India, with over 1 billion mobile subscribers, offers tremendous opportunity for lighter and faster communication application on a mid to lower range of mobile devices.

The majority of the mid and lower range android based mobile devices are mostly used by Tier 2 – 3 and users in the remote geographies in India. These devices will have limited space and hence, they would be an ideal segment to adopt this variant of Skype.  According to CMR, the shipments of low to mid range android based mobile devices stood at around 77 million in CY 2016.

Skype has millions of its existing customers in India and this variant of product has been customized for the market. India’s fragmented technology connectivity and domestic use cases had pushed for a more geographically specific solution like Skype Lite. It is localized in seven vernacular languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Urdu.

The salient features of Skype Lite are:

-It is smaller in size, light weight and it can run smaller packets.

-Skype Lite Instant messaging, audio and video calling is available in 13MB pack.

-It has intelligence built in application to report its connectivity mode Wi-Fi or cellular data.

-Shares pictures with contacts and it compresses the picture before uploading for faster sharing.

-The new interface of Skype Lite helps you to understand that how much data it consumed.

-It uses machine learning and segregates the SMS clutters from the SMS inbox and ensures that it categorizes all the promotion SMS separate and saves time.

-It has the ability to change the background to darker shade enabling lesser strain on the eyes, while using it in the night in darker environment.  It also uses lesser battery.

-It has Skype bots which are evolving and has India-specific bots.

-It has new interface sharing about the data used by application over Wi-Fi and cellular network.

-In Skype Lite, you can still make calls and send SMS to your cellular contacts.

-Skype will also bring Aadhaar integration to the app by June 2017. With this integration, Skype users will be able to authenticate the identity of unknown callers in a variety of situations where identification verification is required, including job interviews, goods and property sale.

This is an attempt to make a product for India market and to explore country’s hinterlands. However, a well-made product can always see a good traction and adoption levels, especially if it’s solving any serious problems.

It will be interesting to see, what would be the revenue model? Whether Go-To-Market strategies will help Microsoft to get a mass adoption of Skype Lite? Or it would be just like any secondary communication application available in the market today.

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