Last month, Microsoft unveiled a massive overhaul, which includes a new version of Skype. Yet the update is only rolling out in preview “to a small group of customers.” The Skype team decided it didn’t want to wait.

As such, the new Skype for is rolling out today to all users of Microsoft’s email service. To add to the confusion, this updated version of Skype is still in the beta phase. Still, Skype promises this new version will be available in every inbox “in the coming months.”

Microsoft previously said the new version is aimed at making it easy for the user to “seamlessly shift conversations between email and Skype.” You can chat one-on-one or with a group, and use Skype emoticons all on Starting a voice or video call is as simple as pressing the call button.


As you can see above, the new Skype centers on the Skype sidebar. Open it by hitting the Skype button to see which friends are online, view recent conversations, and search for people on Skype. Yes, you can even add Skype contacts directly in

All conversations and chats can be continued wherever you left them, even if they were started via Skype on other platforms (chat messages are synchronized across all of your devices). Just click on one of the corresponding bubbles on the right.


Unfortunately, the Skype call button still requires installing a browser plugin. This is a necessary evil that should go away sometime this year.

Skype for Web, which still requires a plugin, is still in beta. It arrived in November and we haven’t received an update since.


Eventually, Skype wants to offer plugin-free calling on all major browsers, powered by the Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) standard, which is what all video calling services are moving towards. Once that happens, Skype integration in will be even tighter.

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