Outlook.com Users Can Now Make Skype Calls Directly From Their InboxBy: Zach Walton - April 30, 2013
Last year, Microsoft introduced an entirely new Outlook.com in an attempt to revitalize its email client. Early results (from Microsoft) say its working, and now it’s adding even more functionality to tempt more people over to its side.
Microsoft announced that it’s rolling out a preview of Skype for Outlook.com to those in the UK today. It already integrated Skype into the latest enterprise Outlook software, but now the same functionality will soon be available to regular users on the Web version of Outlook.
The preview version of Skype for Outlook.com will be available soon as a plugin for Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. The plugin will ask you to connect your Microsoft account with your Skype account, and then you can start video calling people in Outlook. Just look for the usual Skype icons when mousing over a friend’s contact details.
Skype for Outlook.com is just the latest in Microsoft’s mission of integrating Skype into pretty much all of its services. It already merged the old Windows Live Messenger client into Skype, and a rumor emerged earlier this year saying that Xbox chat would be replaced by Skype in the next Xbox.
Skype for Outlook.com is available in the UK starting today, but what about everyone else? Microsoft says that its latest Skype integration will be available to users in the US and Germany in the coming weeks. Everybody else will have to wait until Summer.