Microsoft today launched Skype for Outlook.com in six markets: the US, the UK, Germany, France, Canada, and Brazil. The company says it is continuing to roll out the integration to Outlook.com users worldwide, but wouldn’t share timing details beyond saying availability would arrive “in the near future.”
A preview of Skype’s integration into Outlook.com first showed up in April, but only UK users could use the full range of Skype services in their inbox: voice calls, video calls, and messaging. Once a user links their Outlook.com account with Skype, they are prompted to install a plug-in for Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox which enables the integration.
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Microsoft justified bring Skype into Outlook.com with the following statistic:
In a recent Ipsos Public Affairs poll, 76% of people say that their email conversations frequently or occasionally result in a follow up phone or video call, or other means of communication. Those moments are perfect for Skype and now, face-to-face connection right from your inbox is just a click away.
In January, Microsoft brought Skype’s desktop application closer to its Outlook desktop software, letting the two share information and calling capabilities. Now the company is doing the same with Outlook.com, which already integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google contacts.
This shows us two things. Microsoft still values the desktop more than the Web, although it’s not as dismissive of cloud platforms as it once was. More importantly, it really is going all-in with Skype this year; there really is no part of the company that isn’t being graced with the communication tool in one way or another.
See also – Outlook.com now has 400m active accounts as Microsoft completes Hotmail migration, including 125m mobile users and Microsoft completes Lync integration into Skype, offers one unified communications platform for Windows and Mac
Top Image Credit: Robert Scoble