Microsoft is adding an option that will allow people to use their Skype name to sign into other Microsoft services like Office, OneDrive, Outlook.com, and Xbox Live.
Starting next week, users will have an option to use their Skype name as a single sign-in -- in some cases along with an email address -- to access these services, officials said on Oct. 18.
"If you have noticed some changes to the Skype sign-in screen, password change and account recovery flow, that's because these are now managed by Microsoft. None of these changes will affect your ability to use Skype -- as usual, you can still sign in using your Skype Name," officials added in a very short blog post today about the coming changes.
I asked Microsoft what the coming changes mean to those who already have Microsoft Accounts. A spokesperson sent me the following:
"Starting next week when this capability goes live, if you already have a Microsoft account, we recommend updating it with your Skype account. This lets you access Skype, Office, Xbox and other Microsoft services with a single account. After you update your Skype account to a Microsoft account, you can continue using your Skype Name, with your Microsoft account password to sign in, even for Skype. Please note that you can only update your Skype account to a Microsoft account once.
"However, if you don't have a Microsoft account, or want to keep things separate, you'll need to add an email address to your Skype account. This makes it easier to get back into your account if you forget your password."
Those -- like me -- who don't currently use their Microsoft Account as their Skype account log ins will still be able to use their existing Skype account names if they choose but with the password normally associated with their Microsoft Accounts.
In other, easier to digest Skype news, Microsoft yesterday added the ability to do video calling to the Skype for Linux alpha test version that the company rolled out earlier this year. Microsoft officials said in July that video calling would be added "soon" to the Skype for Linux alpha app.