Skype App Set to Launch with Windows 8

One of the bigger concerns facing Microsoft's release of Windows 8 is a potential dearth of apps by comparison with competing ecosystems. While this will have to await full judgment pending the formal launch of the redesigned OS, The Verge reports that a Skype app for Windows 8 will be ready to go on October 26th

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Around this time last year, Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion, but even though the P2P service became a new business unit within Microsoft, new developments have been relatively few. 

In a hands-on preview, Tom Warren gives a favorable overview of the coming Windows 8 style version of Skype, which will increasingly be integrated to accommodate the advancing mobile device market.

The most notable change initially will be Skype's integration with the Microsoft Messenger platform. The application will now be more deeply embedded into the OS, with regular updates on Windows 8 live tiles and more recent Skype activity accessible through the App Bar.

Since the application has shifted user contacts to the Messenger backend, Skype does not even have to be open in order for a user to receive Skype activity updates. The Windows 8 app will be the first to take advantage of this integration, with updates planned for iOS and Android as well. 

In addition to group chat, video calling, and audio calling, the new Windows 8 app will include SMS support enabling texts to be sent to contacts using Skype credit. Regularly stored contacts can now be reached directly via Skype using only the Windows 8 People app. 

One new feature coming this fall will be the option to send out pre-recorded video messages, though AllthingD has noted the option for group video chat will not be available immediately with the launch. 

So far, the only issue noted on the app is that the notification experience could use both some cleaning up and a greater measure of user control. 

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