With the Windows 8 launch only days away, Microsoft made official something that has been widely known unofficially for months: Skype is built into Windows 8
. The move is part of Microsoft’s push to put communication center stage in the newest, heavily revamped version of the Windows operating system.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Skype integration is that Skype gets its own Live Tile
on the new Windows 8 Start Screen. Any Skype IM messages will appear in the upper-right corner of the Start Screen, and you can snap your Skype video conversation to the left or right side of the of the screen, similar to the way you can already snap windows to the side of the screen in Windows 7. The difference is that, where normal windows snap to one half of the screen, the Skype
chat takes up a much smaller space and stacks your video windows vertically.
Open the Skype Home Screen, and you’ll see images of important contacts and a log of your recent activity. You can IM, video chat, and make PC-to-phone calls, just as you can with Skype now. The integration seems more about making Skype convenient and accessible, rather than adding much in the way of new features. We’ll see how Skype integration plays out as early adopters give Windows 8 try.