Whenever someone wants to talk to me and they say that they want to use Skype, I cringe. For a long time, I was unsure of why I cringed, I just did. Until recently when I installed the latest Skype client on my work PC.
Sigh, there are plenty of things to hate about Skype. It is owned by Microsoft. It has occasional audio drop outs. But some things are truly pernicious:
- It really really doesn’t want you to quit it. In the menu, you can log out, but the “close” option really just minimizes it. It is as if they know that you really don’t want to quit the program (to exit it, you must right click on the tray icon, and select “exit”).
- Spurious contact requests. Every day I get two or three contact requests. Often for ridiculous named contacts. Often with naked avatar images. And often with pitches to ask me what I am doing (like phone sex). No, I do not want to video chat to “watch U cum”. This is one reason why I stopped using Yahoo Messenger.
- Advertisements. I guess it is the bane of the modern tech world, but advertisements are everywhere. Some tools make them unobtrusive. Not Skype. Front and center. While messaging, or while calling. Groan.
- Hijacking anything that looks like a phone number in the browser. Be damned careful in what you agree to when installing, as it will try to install a browser plugin that will “Skype-ize” anything remotely resembling a phone number in your web browsing. Really fucking annoying.
Sadly, I install Skype, use it, and now uninstall that pig as soon as I am done.
I should add that it is far less annoying on the Mac, as cmd-Q will quit it. Still hate using it though.