China remains a bit of an enigma in the tech world. Google basically jumped ship there, while Yahoo persists despite accusations of turning over dissident information to the government – one reason Google got out. Microsoft also embraces the world’s most populous nation, now announcing Skype is heading there with improvements.
To be clear, Skype itself is not new the PRoC, but Microsoft is offering an update for the citizens there. “We are excited to share that an updated version of Skype is now available for users in China through a new relationship” says Microsoft’s Judd Harcombe.
The result is a partnership between Skype and Guangming Founder. This is designed to deliver the communications service across all computing and mobile platforms. For now it is in beta testing, but is open to all customers in the country.
“Users in China will receive guidance on how to upgrade. The new version of Skype will be available on Windows 8.1, Desktop Classic (Mac and Windows desktop versions), Android and iOS (Phone and Tablet versions) and coming soon to Windows Phone.”
There is a bit of irony in that last bit. Microsoft, which paid billions to purchase Skype, has managed to get its service on both Android and iOS, but has so far failed to land it on its very own mobile platform. Of course, there’s also no mention of how locked down this will be by the ‘Great Firewall’.