Outlook.com and Skype integration starts to roll out

It's now live in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Brazil and Canada

Microsoft has integrated Outlook.com with Skype in several countries, including the U.K., the U.S. and Germany, offering users the ability to tap Skype functions and contacts from within the interface of the webmail application.

The link between the two products lets Outlook.com users do Skype video chats, audio calling and instant messaging. Other countries where this is now available are Brazil, France and Canada. Microsoft plans to offer this integration worldwide "in the near future," Microsoft said in a blog post on Monday.

Microsoft is pursuing this integration because email exchanges are often escalated to audio and video communications, so bridging the interface gap between Outlook.com and Skype makes sense, the company said.

"Email is an important and personal tool for most people, but there are moments when you want to be able to speak live or chat face-to-face," wrote Dawn Martynuik, group product manager of Outlook.com, in the blog post.

Ironically, Outlook.com already has links with Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Outlook.com hit a rough patch last week, when it malfunctioned in various ways for an undisclosed number of users between Wednesday and Sunday. The glitches impacted mobile access to the inbox and the ability to share SkyDrive files via email.

Outlook.com has had other stability, availability and performance problems in recent months, including a high-profile outage in mid-March.

Microsoft launched a preview of Outlook.com in July 2012, billing it as a reinvention of webmail from the user interface to the back end designed to let the company better compete against Gmail and Yahoo Mail. Outlook.com eventually replaced Hotmail as the company's webmail service.

Last month, Microsoft celebrated Outlook.com's 1-year anniversary, rattling off a long list of positives, but also acknowledging that the service hasn't been as stable as expected.

"We had some bumps over the last year and there were places where our performance hasn't met the high standard we set for ourselves," Dick Craddock, group program manager of Outlook.com, wrote in that blog post, published on July 31.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesMicrosoftMailTelephony/conferencinginternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?