Microsoft confirms Skype will be bundled with Windows 8.1

Microsoft confirms Skype will be bundled with Windows 8.1

Summary: Skype is joining the growing set of Microsoft-developed consumer apps that will ship 'in the box' with Windows 8.1.

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It's no big surprise, but Microsoft officials are confirming that Skype will be one of the set of Microsoft-developed consumer apps that will be "in the box" with Windows 8.1.

bundledapps

In a blog post on August 15, Ryan Gavin -- the former Internet Explorer General Manager whose new title is General Manager of the newly created Microsoft Apps & Services unit -- confirmed Skype will be among the apps Microsoft ships as part of the Windows 8.1 package (for both Intel- and ARM-based devices). Other appss in that group include Xbox Music, Video, Games, SkyDrive, Internet Explorer, Photos, Mail, the Bing AppEx apps (like Sports, Finance, Travel) and more.

What's with all the bundling? Didn't Microsoft shy away from doing this after getting its hand slapped by the U.S. antitrust authorities a decade-plus ago? It's a bolder Microsoft these days, with execs noting that if all its competitors bundle, Microsoft should be able to, as well.... Plus, like any of the Microsoft-developed "in-the-box" apps, users can unpin them from their Windows 8.1 Start screens or uninstall them completely, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed.

With Windows 8, Skype did not ship as one of the set of Microsoft pre-installed apps. Instead, Skype for Windows 8 was made available as a downloadable Windows Store app on October 26, the day Windows 8 and its ARM-based sibling, Windows RT, were made generally available. Skype for Windows 8 also was set to be preinstalled on "the top 12 Windows OEMs' machines," Skype officials said.

Skype wasn't preinstalled on Surface RT devices right out of the gate because Skype didn't quite make the internal deadline cut-off for preinstallation, Skype officials admitted last year.

Microsoft has opted to kill off its Messenger instant-messaging product and is replacing it with Skype, which has built-in instant messaging.

It's probably worth noting here that Microsoft is working on adding new functionality to Skype during its fiscal 2014 (which runs through June 30, 2014), including support for large meetings; support for enterprise voice (probably in conjunction with Lync integration, I'd think); and deeper integration with Outlook.com and Office 365.

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft, Unified Comms, Microsoft Surface

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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36 comments
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  • Umm

    can it at least be uninstalled?
    slickjim
    • uninstallable?

      Yes, it can be unpinned from Start and/or uninstalled completely. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
    • Pretty much anything can be uninstalled.

      You could probably strip Windows 8 to the bare-bones if you wanted to.
      ForeverCookie
      • Try getting rid of IE. No text.

        .
        CharlieSpencer
  • So I heard

    I believe the NSA told them to bundle it.
    Alan Smithie
    • NSA

      I believe martians told them to bundle it. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • appreciate your interest

        appreciate your interest in reading comments. I thought people on zdnet ignores all comments and leaves to people(Xs and Ys). good to see you down here.
        Mac_Win
      • lol

        Love peeps with a good sense of humor.
        greywolf7
      • Martians, NSA, etc.

        Actually, the Zorgons called in a favor to the Martians who told the NSA that Microsoft needs to bundle their apps.
        grayknight
      • Very amusing, Mary Jo -

        but while there's no good evidence that Martians exist or that they are interested in snapping up people's conversations, some evidence has recently been forthcoming to the effect that the NSA does, indeed, exist and has such interests. But if you hear more from the Martians. please don't hesitate to inform us on these fora....

        Henri
        mhenriday
    • So I Heard

      Care to share who you heard the NSA told MS to bundle Skype, or was it that little voice in your head that keeps telling you to do things you shouldn't.
      groberts116
      • Oh crap!

        Alan! You forgot your tinfoil hat and your OpenBSD live USB in the car!!!
        Unbiased4You
    • I heard this too

      Since the NSA got apple to bundle facetime, they are now working on companies that have been holding out.

      That's right folks, I've heard that all of your facetime conversations are sent to the NSA.
      toddbottom3
      • Oh wow is that what you heard??!

        you must be a VERY important person to have such privileged information! What an incredibly interesting fact you have shared with the world!

        or, is the reality that you were told to write that to get your paycheck?

        And even if that is what you were instructed to write, you should do some research, instead of simply following orders.
        Tangodine
        • So the next logical question is

          Do you believe that Alan Smithie is:
          "a VERY important person to have such privileged information! What an incredibly interesting fact you have shared with the world!

          or, is the reality that you were told to write that to get your paycheck?

          And even if that is what you were instructed to write, you should do some research, instead of simply following orders."
          toddbottom3
          • Amazing...

            Do you get a bonus for replying to replies?

            It may not be as much as you think if you just copy/paste...

            Or maybe it is, seeing as copying has been a standard with many companies (your employer included) for over 20 years.
            Tangodine
          • Re: Amazing...

            Software does not (yet) get monetary compensation for it's work.

            Might be, when one day Microsoft upgrade toddy's WinRT script with UltraSuperDuperXYZ v3.14, that will have an API to accept monetary transactions for work done.
            danbi
          • Ha!

            Such wit! Such cutting insight! Such droll humour! I laughed for hours...no, really!...hours.

            Wait, wait, wait....for yet another inane comment - by danbiSoft

            OK, you don't really have to wait - they occur with regularity. Speaking of which - afk...bbiab.
            Nierteroth9
      • Well....

        How else can I talk to the NSA when I need them?
        jsargent
  • Makes sense to me

    more and more, video conferencing is a basic need in an OS. Microsoft clearly has the lead in this (way out in front of Google Hangouts and Facetime), so it would surprise me if they didn't.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter