Skype To Be Windows 8.1 ‘Default Communications Experience’

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Skype is to be one of the default start apps for Windows 8.1

Skype will be an integrated part of Windows 8.1 as one of the standard apps and services built in to the update, which is due to be rolled out on 16 October.

The VoIP client will apparently be “front and centre” of Windows 8.1 from the first time users turn on their PC as the “default communications experience” of Microsoft’s operating system.

“This is fantastic news for both Skype and Windows users. Now you don’t have to download your favourite app to stay in touch whenever you’re apart,” said Skype. “Communicating, connecting and sharing should be a seamless part of every Windows experience, and Skype for Windows 8.1 is a natural extension of that.”

Skype Windows 8.1

skype2metroneowinMicrosoft acquired Skype in late 2011 in a £5.4 billion takeover and has been closely integrating the VoIP client into its other products, such as Outlook. Earlier this year, Windows Live Messenger was retired in favour of Skype, as Microsoft turned its full attention to its expensive acquisition.

Windows 8 has endured a difficult start to its life, having seemingly been unable to revive flagging PC sales, nor significantly expand Microsoft’s share of the lucrative tablet market.

Windows 8.1 adds a number of improvements including enhanced applications, Internet Explorer 11 and the return of the start button, but not the start menu. Microsoft says Windows 8.1 “refines the vision of Windows 8,” but critics have argued it fails to address many of the criticisms levelled at the platform.

It also introduces a number of features for enterprises, including security enhancements, management tools and new features aimed at implementing and securing BYOD mobile units.

“Microsoft has the clear opportunity to offer consumers a unified experience across all aspects of their life,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “With our apps and services that come with Windows 8.1, we bring to life the things that matter most to you. Connecting with your family when you’re on the road, preserving and sharing the memories, getting what needs to be done – fast and efficient, and providing an experience for some serious fun along the way.”

What do you know about Skype? Find out with our quiz!

Originally published on eWeek.

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