If you buy a new PC, there's now a chance that it could come with Skype already installed on your hard drive. Microsoft is now offering a number of PC OEMs and system builders a way to download the Skype OEM Preinstallation Kit, which will allow those PC makers to install the Internet phone and video service on new PCs.
This new addition is just one of many software products that can be pre-installed on new Windows 7-based PCs. The Microsoft OPK page lists a number of other products that system builders can install on their systems, including Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft Security Essentials and of course Microsoft Office. The addition of Skype to this list means that Microsoft considers Skype to be an important piece of the software puzzle for new PCs going forward.
It will be interesting to see just how many new PC makers take the plunge and pre-install Skype on their hard drives. It will certainly be a big advantage for Microsoft to have Skype already available to use on new PCs as it seeks to get the most out of the $8.5 billion acquisition of the company. It remains unknown if there will also be an option to have Skype pre-installed on Windows 8 PCs when they launch.