GW Micro, developers of Window-Eyes, launched a free and accessible Skype client called GWConnect (originally GWSkype) for blind/visually impaired Windows users in January, 2012. The program became hugely popular and regular updates followed.
GWConnect relied heavily on SkypeKit, a software development kit (SDK), which allowed programmers to embed Skype features into third-party applications. Unfortunately, Microsoft—who had acquired Skype for $8.5bn in May, 2011—ended support for SkypeKit in July.
GW Micro announced that they could no longer support GWConnect and that it would stop working on August 4th. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened… but the story doesn’t end there. 😉
In mid-September, an archive of GWConnect that included a patched SkypeKit began circulating on forums and discussion groups. Origin unknown. This post on Italian forum, Spazio Ausili is the earliest mention I could find.
The feedback from people who have tried the patched GWConnect is that it runs every bit as well as the original did under Windows 7 and 8.1. Nevertheless, I must warn you that your use of any software from an unverifiable source is done entirely at your own risk.
GWConnect.v2.15.Incl.Patched.Skypekit.zip file (17.9Mb) is available from this direct download link. Read the instructions in the
Readme.txt file before installing.
Happy Skyping! 🙂