Outlook.com now offers Skype video calling directly from the inbox

Outlook.com now offers Skype video calling directly from the inbox

Summary: Users of Microsoft's Outlook.com email service can now make and receive Skype calls directly from their inbox.


Microsoft Outlook users in the UK can now make and receive voice and video calls from within the Outlook web client — with the same functionality set to roll out to the US and Germany in the coming weeks.

The move was announced on Tuesday and is designed to more closely integrate the US giant's communication platforms. Microsoft completed its $8.5bn acquisition of Skype in October 2011.

"Sometimes that quick call can accomplish more than a long email reply. That's why we are bringing Skype audio and video calling to your Outlook.com inbox," the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. "With Skype for Outlook.com, you can choose the right medium for your message, whether it is an email, call, video call or instant message (IM) — you can connect with your Skype and Messenger friends all in the same place."

While users can now make and receive calls directly from the inbox, a one-off browser plugin download is required to get the service up and running. The plugin, which is not required to use Skype's IM features, is currently available for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.

It's not currently available for Safari browser users, however, and while a spokeswoman for the company said "Microsoft will continue to expand browser support for Skype in Outlook.com", she could not confirm that it would be made available for Safari specifically.

Microsoft unveiled the revamped Outlook.com service in July 2012 but has done little until now to bring the two products together. It's thought that Microsoft will bring the design of Skype on each platform closer to its Windows 8 style look and feel already present throughout Windows 8 and on Outlook.com.

Topics: Unified Comms, Microsoft, EU, United Kingdom

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • 2 turkeys don't make an eagle

    just link 2 proprietary products nobody uses and see what happens.
    LlNUX Geek
    • Riiight...

      I like Linux as much as the next guy,
      but there's no point having a hissy fit just because Outlook is good and Skype is popular.
    • You could insult Outlook.com maybe

      But Skype is pretty much the standard for VoIP >>;
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Re: Skype is pretty much the standard for VoIP

        Let's not make such claims out of love for one's religion.

        The current VoIP standart is SIP. Some still struggle with H.323. Skype was once an interesting alternative but with time it becomes more and more boutique.
        • Remember your Xerox analogy danbi?

          Well try applying the same logic to the fact that 'to skype someone' has entered everyday language. For consumers the standard has become skype, they don't see what's underneath and other than facetime, I would bet that not many people can name another service. Lets face it, no one's using the google alternative......
          Little Old Man
        • Love of one's religion?

          No, it comes from practicality.

          Do people say "SIP me"? No, they say "Skype me".
          Michael Alan Goff
    • Your pathetic

      Jeez, every Microsoft article we have this pathetic "Linux Geek" trying to bash it. Dude, get a life and move out of your parent's basement.
  • 2 proprietary products nobody uses?

    Now we know you're being sarcastic.

    Or uninformed?
    William Farrel
    • because I don't know anybody using them

      I have yet to see a real user that is not M$ marketing dude.
      LlNUX Geek
      • You don't get out much do you

        Seriously, you're either lying or seriously stunted in your real-world experience.
        We use skype to communicate with suppliers all over the world. Lots of introductory emails now include skype addresses for ease of communicating. It's a go to for businesses worldwide because its has now become universally accepted.

        Serious question now, do you think the popularity of skype and brand recognition came from MS employees using it or do you think it's because it has an extremely large user base? I've even seen it used on news programmes for video interviews where no specialist equipment/uplink was available.
        Little Old Man
      • "I've never seen..."

        That is not a good way of deciding if something is used or not. The world is much larger than what you know and see.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • Sometimes that quick call can accomplish more than a long email reply.

    You got that right.
  • Outlook.com now offers Skype video calling directly from the inbox

    That just blew my mind. I can see this being used in so many ways. Kudos to Microsoft! I laugh at anyone who still thinks them buying Skype was a bad idea.
    • Aim higher dude


      Little Old Man
  • Outlook.com now offers Skype video calling...

    And here I try to find this option. Thanks for the misleading headline.

    From the blog: "Skype for Outlook.com preview is beginning to roll out in the United Kingdom"