Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Well, at Least Skype App Will Be Ready for Windows 8 Launch

There will be tons of big-name apps missing when Windows 8 goes on sale at the end of the week, but Skype won’t be one of them.

The Internet calling service said it will have a new-style Windows app ready to go when the operating system hits store shelves on Friday.

One should hope so, since Microsoft paid $8.5 billion to acquire Skype last year.

Skype won’t be alone in the Windows Store, for sure. Already Netflix and eBay have apps, for example, and I am sure Microsoft will have some new names to announce this week. But from the current look of things, there will be more big names missing than present.

The availability of apps will be important to the success of the new operating system given that older apps are relegated to an old-style and less touch friendly Desktop app in Windows 8. With the Windows RT variant that powers Surface and a handful of other machines, old-style Windows apps won’t run at all.

As for the Windows 8 version of Skype, the new app can run in the background and show incoming messages on its home screen “live tile.” With Windows 8, users can merge their Skype ID with their Microsoft account, so users can sign on once to both their machine and to the calling service.

The new Skype app also integrates with Windows 8’s built-in People app, making Skype just one more way to connect with one’s contacts.

One feature that won’t be ready at launch is group video chat, though Skype said that ability is in the works and should be available soon. Skype was also late to Windows Phone, launching in beta form only this past April.

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