Windows 10 can run two types of apps; desktop i.e., Win32 apps, and UWP i.e, Universal Windows Platforms apps. Lots of popular apps have both types of versions available. For example, Minecraft has a Java based desktop app version, and it’s also available as a UWP app from the Microsoft Store. This happens with a lot of popular apps and it happened with Skype. Windows 10 users have the option to use the Skype desktop app or the UWP app which is installed by default. If you’re trying to download the Skype desktop app though, you’ll find Microsoft has removed it from the downloads page. Here’s why.
Skype Desktop App
Microsoft has pulled the Skype desktop app from the official downloads page because it’s been discovered that the deskop app has a security flaw. The flaw is with how the app looks for and installs updates. It relies on a DLL file that’s stored in the Temp folder of the current user. Since this file is present in a user’s folder, anyone with user level access can read and write files to it.
Microsoft, having been made aware of the problem, has pulled the installer from the official Skype downloads page. It’s telling Windows 10 users to use the UWP app instead.
At this point, you have two alternatives; the first is to just listen to Microsoft and use the UWP version. It’s probably already on your system and if it isn’t or you removed it, you can install it from the Microsoft Store. The second is to use a different messaging app. We hear people are turning to Discord and Slack is always a good option.
For Windows 7 users, and anyone else still adamant about using the Skype desktop app, you can use it so long as you’ve got version 7.40 or older. This is an older version which according to Microsoft’s forums is unaffected by the security flaw. Unfortunately, this version cannot be downloaded from the Skype website. You’re going to have to look for it elsewhere i.e. on software repositories. If that’s the way you decide to go, be careful that you do not accidentally download the installer. It will fetch the latest available version of the Skype desktop app. What you need is the offline installer that can install version 7.40, or older.
We should also mention that the current Skype desktop app is at version 8.15 which means there will be quite a few missing features if you do manage to get your hands on the 7.40v offline installer. Microsoft says it will fix the problem in the next update but hasn’t said when the update will arrive.