Integration between Skype and the rest of Microsoft's properties is slowly trickling down.
Microsoft's Skype unit announced on September 13 that it is enabling sign in using Windows Live ID -- now known as Microsoft Account -- in the latest Skype for Windows beta (version 5.11). This means by signing in with a Windows Live ID, users will be able to send and receive IMs and see presence ifnormation from those using Live Messenger, Xbox, Hotmail or Outlook.com.
According to Microsoft, there's also better Facebook integration in the Skype 5.11 betas, allowing users to sign in directly with their Facebook account log-ins without needing to create a Skype account first.
Those choosing to sign into Skype using their Microsoft or Facebook accounts will have the option to link their Skype accounts. Those who go this route will see a combined list of friends.
The new Skype UI is now "refreshed and flattened" with a "simpler and less cluttered look" in the latest beta. And there's more "help us improve the quality of our product" telemetry-gathering offers. Those who opt in to provide that information to Microsoft should know that reports sent to Microsoft may contain their Skype IDs and/or Microsoft Account IDs.