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 its making a new desktop Skype app, saying only that it "regularly conduct gradual feature releases in preview."