Microsoft has launched Skype Lite in India, a lighter version of Skype, tailor-made for India and designed to work on slower and patchy network conditions often found in the country.
“It will be a client built for the connectivity speeds in India,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, during the launch of the app in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Skype Lite is available for download on the Android Play store. The app is only 13 MB in size and will also support local languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
The app will also have an Aadhaar-based verification feature built in and Microsoft has partnered with India stack to add this feature. Nadella said during his keynote that Aadhaar will be the fundamental identity system of the new Skype Lite messaging client.
According to Microsoft, the Aadhaar verification feature will be integrated into the app by June 2017 and should help users verify the identity of unknown callers in situation like interacting with job interviews, goods and property sale. The company is also extending the Aadhaar verification feature to the regular Skype service.
To use the Aadhaar verification feature in Skype during the call, a verification request can be sent to the participant by the host caller from within the call and a popup notification will appear enabling the requestee to enter their Aadhaar number and confirmation OTP allowing for immediate identity verification. One use case that Microsoft demoed for this feature is a company representative trying to verify a candidate’s identity during an interview call.
As a safety measure the Aadhaar data will be deleted from the device automatically once the particular conversation is over.
Skype Lite also supports bots to help users. For now the Andhra Pradesh Transport Authority has also deployed a bot within Skype Lite to help users with driving license and registration services for the state.