Today at its Office event, Microsoft showed off Skype integration into its Office product. The company stated that its newly purchased VoIP product will power the ‘Prescence’ element of Office.

This move will bake Skype into one of Microsoft’s most critical products, in a very real, and deep way. Microsoft highlighted that Office has around 1 billion users, and Skype several hundred million. This move will boost both Office’s capability, and Skype’s reach.

From the event:

2012 07 16 12h43 351 520x320 Skype now officially powers Presence in Microsoft Office

It has been an open question how Microsoft would manage to leverage Skype to ensure that it properly makes the $8.5 billion dollar price that it paid for the company worthwhile.

The company went on to show a multi-party video chat on a massive, 82″ touch screen. However, that was powered by Lync. That seems to indicate that Lynch isn’t being phased out even as Microsoft works to better build Skype into its product lines. Here’s Lync in action:

2012 07 16 12h48 02 520x244 Skype now officially powers Presence in Microsoft Office

All told, Microsoft had a strong emphasis on social integration today for Office, of which Skype appears set to be a large piece. How well Skype will manage its coming status as Office workhorse remains to be seen.

Top Image Credit: Mark Hillary