The Outlook.com team has been on a roll lately, delivering long-awaited update after long-awaited update. Modern calendar experience? Check. Much-improved Android app? Check. Two-step authentication? Check. And that’s just in the last month! Now, after almost a year of teasing Outlook.com’s Skype integration, the update is finally here.
Skype support is now available, allowing people to send instant messages or initiate and receive audio and video calls from their Outlook.com inbox. Connecting Skype to your Microsoft account is simple, and it immediately enables Skype instant messaging in the browser. But if you want to make or receive a call, you’ll need to install the free Skype web plug-in which enables support for audio and video chats. Microsoft recently shut down the Windows Live Messenger desktop application and began moving users over to Skype, so you’ll be able to call your Messenger contacts as well.
From the looks of things, Microsoft has done a great job integrating Skype into Outlook.com. We had a long wait, but it was worth it. Unfortunately, you might have to wait just a little bit longer in order to start playing with this feature for yourself. The Skype for Outlook.com preview is currently available for a “select set of people in the UK,” with the US set to follow shortly. But since Microsoft is gradually rolling out the update, it could be a few weeks before you can start Skyping from your email inbox.
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Outlook.com Insiders program.