Microsoft offers info on Skype for Windows Phone, Windows updates

Microsoft will offer Windows Phone 8.1 device owners a new version of its Skype app that will be able to work with its Cortana digital assistant. It also will release an updated app for the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update.

In a post on the Skype blog, Microsoft said that the Windows Phone 8.1 app will let user speak into the phone to ask to chat with one of their Skype contacts. The voice commands will be used by Cortana to launch the Skype app and automatically dial the contact that was requested. In addition, the Windows Phone 8.1 version of Skype will allow users who make a voice call to quickly upgrade to a video chat with the touch of one button.

Microsoft will also release a new version of Skype for the Windows 8.1 Update that will be released next week. The Skype app can be accessed from either the Start screen or the regular desktop, where it can also be pinned to the taskbar. 

A few day ago, a Neowin reader reported obtaining a Skype Windows desktop application that had a new chat UI. When asked, Microsoft did not confirm or deny it's making a new desktop Skype app, saying only that it "regularly conduct gradual feature releases in preview."

Source: Microsoft

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Will the updates for Win 8.1 and WP 8.1 finally support voice mail? I still have to use my iPad or the desktop app to get it. How have they still not given a crap that they omitted their own feature on their own platforms?!

That is nice. Since this integration could work well - how about the integration of messages and social network information into the people and messaging hub with twitter and facebook?

Skype for Metro is the only metro app I use. The desktop version is horrid, from the screenshots it looks horrid still. I really wish MS would just revive Windows Messenger, and add Skype functionality into that.
Windows Messenger was SOOO much better :(

Edited by zhangm, Apr 3 2014, 5:59pm :

I think you mean Windows Live Messenger (or 'MSN' as ppl called it for short). I agree, it was ahead of it's time and now they're trying to re-invent the wheel bringing the features and integration it had to Skype. Which is a good thing, but I think it would have been easier just to merge the two clients.

Edited by zhangm, Apr 3 2014, 5:11pm :

j2006 said,
Also, I think you mean Windows Live Messenger (or 'MSN' as ppl called it for short).

Maybe he wants Windows messenger from windows xp back :)

elenarie said,
They should fix the settings section a bit. Things are spread out all over the place.

I expect that is on the list as well but maybe not till the next WP update, could be 9 or a possible 8.1 GDR.

George P said,

I expect that is on the list as well but maybe not till the next WP update, could be 9 or a possible 8.1 GDR.

Sorry, forgot to mention, I was referring to the desktop app.

If they're testing a new redesigned desktop client, that might get me to install it again. For now, the Metro app is working for me. The functionality of Skype that I need, without the sludge of the desktop client slowing my machine down.

I hope they bring Cortana to Windows and Xbox One for a seamless experience. It could make for some very interesting ecosystem capabilities.

Drewidian said,
I hope they bring Cortana to Windows and Xbox One for a seamless experience. It could make for some very interesting ecosystem capabilities.

If succesful on WP then I have no doubt that they will do just that. A personal assistant that syncs across your devices would indeed be awesome. Just imagine Xbox's Cortana reminding you of an appointment made on your phone while playing a game. And then being able to tell her to delay the appointment without having to stop playing. The only thing that would make it better is if she could get me a beer. Maybe when that Windows on the internet of things gets going....

They are. They said that during the conference. They want to make her the best experience on WP first and then bring her to everything else. The more people that use her, the smarter she gets. :)