Skype, Microsoft's video chatting platform, will now be accessible from anywhere around the globe via the user's Outlook.com account. The project, which started as a preview version last year, needs no separate Skype installation but a simple plug-in download.
"Today, we are excited to announce the worldwide availability of Skype for Outlook.com. We began rolling out a preview version to select markets last year, and now we're excited to celebrate this milestone with our customers around the world," posts Karen Tong on the Skype blog.
The new feature will enable the users to perform chat or video calls on Skype directly from the chat window of their Outlook account. The users, after downloading the Skype plug-in for Outlook, would have to simply install it, and associate their Microsoft Outlook account with their Skype account. The latest feature also supports Mac systems with its own Safari plugin.
The Skype team has also made some improvements Skype for Outlook.com service, including HD video calling support for PC users, provided both the users have HD compatible webcams installed.
An issue related to calls still ringing after being picked-up, has also been resolved. "Some of you have shared that you have experienced issues with calls continuing to ring after pick-up when you were running the Outlook.com plugin and Skype on your desktop at the same time. We're happy to share that in the new version now available we've resolved this issue."
In February, Microsoft also integrated Lync, Microsoft's enterprise video and voice messaging software, with Skype for voice calling across the two platforms and demonstrated a video call, showing how it could integrate cross-platform video calling for the two systems.