Skype outlines Microsoft and Facebook integration road map

Skype is planning deep integration of its voice and video internet messaging service with Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system, Microsoft’s Lync office software and Xbox consoles and other products, reports Forbes.

Skype, which Microsoft acquired in June, technically can’t start any integration until terms of the company’s sale are approved by European regulators. The company did, however, share a road map for what consumers can expect to see in the future.

While Skype currently produces application support for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android devices, the company plans to offer something unique when it’s brought to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, according to the report. As a division of Microsoft, Skype will be able to gain much deeper integration that can’t be achieved on either iOS or Android. This is mainly due to restrictions on those devices that don’t allow third-party applications to access the mobile phone’s video processor or address book information.

Skype’s vice president and general manager of products Neil Stevens told Fortune that he wants to see Skype move beyond just an application when it hits Windows Phones — with integration similar to Apple’s treatment of the Safari web browser or Skype’s upcoming video service with Facebook.

Consumers are likely to see a greater emphasis on Skype’s partnership with Facebook, which adds a video chat function to Facebook. Users will be able to make outbound calls to landlines and cellphones from within Facebook to Skype and vice versa. Only a small portion of Facebook’s total global users currently have access, but a larger roll out should occur in the next few weeks, according to the report.

Skype was unavailable for comment about its future integration plans.


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