The decision to pull Messaging Everywhere from Windows 10 Anniversary Update was a real disappointment for Windows 10 users on the desktop and mobile. The ability to move conversations from mobile to desktop and back again, as well as across services (an old Windows Phone trick) was an expected win for Windows Mobile users – something that group has been very short of for a while now.
At the time Messaging Everywhere was pulled Microsoft explained that this was because of a change of direction that would move this feature into Skype. And now that day has come, for Microsoft Insider group anyway. The latest Skype Preview builds allow messaging to and from the desktop thanks to a new feature christened SMS Relay.
Given that there are already hooks into the Windows 10 Mobile messaging system which are leveraged by Cortana to provide SMS notification and reply capability for Windows 10 PC users it’s entirely possible that the Skype team may be able to deliver this functionality as an update to Skype itself, without having to wait for the base Windows and Mobile builds to receive an additional update.
Hopefully Microsoft will ensure that this gets pushed out to Windows Mobile users first, before its inevitable arrival as an Android feature. Which I suspect was the real reason that Messaging Everywhere got pulled in the first place.
Skype’s blog lists a number of other updates being worked upon by the team, all of which sound good without having the headline hitting impact of the SMS Relay feature. Let’s hope that the news of closures and job losses impacting the Skype division don’t impact on their ability to deliver on these promising new updates.