Microsoft reveals Skype Lite, a free, low connectivity app for India

Microsoft reveals Skype Lite, a free, low connectivity app for India

Technology giant, Microsoft may soon start utilizing Aadhaar - India's Unique identification number - as an authentication for its free VoIP calling service Skype soon.

"Skype Lite is created to deliver a great Skype performance in challenging network conditions, use less data, less power and enable more users to take advantage of free Skype to Skype calls", the announcement notes.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has launched a new version of its infamous video and voice calling application, Skype, which is entitled, Skype Lite. The company launched an app called Skype Lite in 2009 as its first entry onto Android and Java phones, but that product was retired sometime later.

Saumya Chandra, Senior Program Manager for Microsoft's Digital India Team, said that Skype Lite "makes communicating with people simple by integrating all of your communication experiences into one app".

Eugene Ho, Director of Product Management at Skype said that though Skype has "millions" of users in India, a large proportion of these are still using lower-end devices and can not afford high end Android or iOS devices. And it runs "far more smoothly" on the 2G networks that are still common in that country.

Skype Lite is the latest in the trend of Silicon Valley technology companies adapting their core products as they seek to grow in untapped markets like India that come with their own challenges. It also has a built in interface to show users how much data is being consumed by Skype Lite over cellular or Wi-Fi connections.

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In order to help ease the online interview process, Skype Lite comes with a Aadhaar verification feature. Skype Lite app supports seven Indian languages including Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.

Government servicesThe Aadhaar scheme, which is the collection of India's new proprietary identity system, can be accessed via the app.

Considering the fact that people use their mobile devices to look for jobs, Microsoft has developed Project Sangam app that will offer learning in the go.

The app which can be downloaded via Google Play Store is a completely revamped version of the original Skype app.

The fact that Skype Lite is designed with India in mind demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to the country, as well as the fact that it plans to bet big on India's mobile growth. Microsoft has been working on pilot projects on how to use Aadhaar for Skype.

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