Skype support coming to Outlook.com - gHacks Tech News

Skype support coming to Outlook.com

Microsoft paid more than 8 Billion Dollars for Skype and it was clear to me back then that the company had to have plans to push Skype into Microsoft products to not only improve the products but also to get back the money it invested into the technology.

We have seen that happen soon thereafter, for example by coming to an agreement with Facebook that integrated Skype into the world's most popular social networking site, or the retiring of Windows Live Messenger in favor of Skype.

Simon Longbottom announced on the official Skype blog yesterday that Skype is becoming available on Microsoft's email platform Outlook.com. Both audio and video calling will be added to Outlook.com so that users of it can make use of those features right away. It makes sense from a user perspective, considering that it may sometimes be easier to call a recipient instead of sending email messages back and forth.

The feature will be rolled out in the United Kingdom first, with Germany and the United States following in the next weeks, and the rest of the world this Summer. Microsoft released a video that introduces the new feature, and it is the only source of information that we have right now - besides the blog post announcing the launch - that sheds some light on how Skype is integrated into the Outlook.com website.

The video highlights that users can use the audio and video chat capabilities of Skype on the site by clicking on the profile photos of contacts on the Outlook.com website. Here they also find options to compose a new message and chat (I think that's a chat symbol but can't verify) with the selected recipient.

skype outlook.com integration

Technically, it is required to download and install a plugin that integrates Skype in to the browser. The plugin will be made available for Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. Once the plugin is installed, existing Skype users will be asked to link the account to Outlook.com so that all Skype contacts become available here as well.

Adding video and voice chat capabilities to Outlook.com makes a lot of sense as it is often easier and more convenient to call than to write email messages. The plugin requirement may keep some users from using the new feature though.





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    Comments

    1. Jojo said on April 30, 2013 at 2:24 am
      Reply

      Whew. Hope you don’t need support for Skype form Microsoft. If so, your only option is their almost useless “community” support, where people desperately compete for gold stars and atta boys by cutting and pasting all kinds of useless “solutions” to whatever your problem is.

      Skype 6.3 installations have been failing for months now but no one knows how to fix the problems. So I am still stuck on the old 6.1 release.

      I use Skype for outbound calling to North America phone numbers, which costs me $3/month. But each quarter I get hit with a credit card foreign transaction fee because Microsoft still hasn’t move cc processing into the USA form wherever Skype was doing it under eBay ownership. C’mon Microsoft, let’s get with the program!

    2. ilev said on April 30, 2013 at 2:46 am
      Reply

      About time. Gmail has Voice and Video Chat for years.

    3. rickxs said on May 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm
      Reply

      & will it still be useless as a IM ? not being able to send msg’s when the other party is offline :(- Oh, the other party will get the msg when you are both online, LOL
      so– I send a msg to my brother before I go away for a week [he’s offline ] he come’s online when I’m away [no msg for him as I’m offline] I come home & log on & joy of joys he get’s a 1 week old msg —-great software . I have been a big user of yahoo messenger up till now , but am finding some msg’s not going through & history not being saved

    4. rickxs said on May 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm
      Reply

      I’d use Gtalk, but no invisible option

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