Microsoft announced today that it is launching a preview version of Skype integration in its Outlook.com webmail product in the U.S. The company has been testing it in other markets like the U.K., Brazil and Canada, but until now, U.S. users have had to wait.
“The Skype for Outlook.com preview makes it easy to connect with your Skype friends right from your Outlook.com inbox,” says Skype’s Pierre-Eric Jacoupy. “Now staying in touch a snap – with email, calling, video calling and instant message all in one place.”
“Even with the best email service, sometimes text isn’t enough,” says Skype’s Simon Longbottom. “We all face those situations where it’s just easier to jump on a call to talk something through. Sometimes that quick call can accomplish more than a long email reply. That’s why we are bringing Skype audio and video calling to your Outlook.com inbox.”
The company is using the U.S. launch to partner with partnering with Gail Simmons to host a contest, in which users can get a chance to Skype with her through Outlook.com. For every contest entry, the company will donate $10 to Common Threads, a charity that promotes healthy eating with kids.
The preview will be hitting other countries around the world in the coming weeks.