Microsoft has come up with a preview of Skype for Outlook for the users of UK, and the service will extend to users of Germany and the US within the coming weeks. No hard dates have been furnished yet for the roll out of service to the other parts of the world.
The preview enables video as well as voice calls from within the inbox of the Outlook.com. This certainly reduces the number of words needed to be typed to communicate by making it easy to initiate a phone call. In case a phone call is not the best solution, a video call can be initiated, and as a last measure there is the instant messaging video Skype service, which can be used from within the inbox. According to the video published in You tube, a video call can be placed within an email just by selecting the image and the relevant button of Skype.
To access the service, the user needs to have a Skype account, which will be merged with the Outlook.com account. To avail the service for the first time, a plug in needs to be downloaded from the web. This plug in is now available for the recent versions of Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. The plugin will combine the contacts of Skype with the Outlook account. The Microsoft account can also be used to connect to the Outlook account.
Microsoft acquired Skype in the month of October 2011 for $8.5 billion, after delaying for around 6 months, to close the deal. The acquisition at the time was seen as a successive progress of Microsoft in order to acquire more market share. On the other hand, Outlook.com, the free webmail service from Microsoft, was launched six months ago, to replace the aged Hotmail, and within six months of its launch, according to the internal data of Microsoft, the number of users of Outlook increased to 60 million active users, which is certain to cover up the 360 million Hotmail users within a short span. After SkyDrive, the launch of Skype for web, adds a new member to the suit of online tools from Microsoft.