Microsoft rolls out Skype integration to users in six countries
Outlook.com users in the UK are now able to make video calls and send messages over Skype after Microsoft completed the integration process in six countries.
The functionality was first announced in April and had been available as a limited preview both in Britain and the US, and both countries are among the first wave to be given access to the webmail-VoIP crossover.
Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and the US are the other lucky beneficiaries and Microsoft says it is working to bring the functionality to as many countries as possible very soon.
“We believe that your email should work with things you already use. Outlook.com already connects with your Facebook, Skype, and Google friends. Now that you can make Skype video calls from Outlook.com, it’s even easier to stay connected to the people you care about most,” said Microsoft. “Email is an important and personal tool for most people, but there are moments when you want to be able to speak live or chat face-to-face.”
Skype requires a one-time plug-in download for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and users must connect Skype to Outlook.com using a Microsoft account. Existing Skype users will be asked to link the two services together, allowing them to add their contacts to Outlook.com.
Calls are initiated by clicking the Skype video or audio call buttons in an instant message conversation or by hovering over a friend’s contact details in an email.
Microsoft acquired Skype in a £5.4 billion takeover 2011 and has since closed down Windows Live Messenger to focus its attention on Skype.
It has released a new version for Windows 8 and a beta version of 6.1 for Windows which added integration with Microsoft Outlook 2010 and 2013, allowing users to make calls directly from within the mail client.
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