Skype Preview Out For Windows Phone 8

The first Windows Phone 8 handsets are trickling out, and for those anxious to see what Microsoft has been cooking up in terms of Skype integration, now's your turn. Microsoft has today released a Skype Preview for WP8 (version 2.0). According to the company, this Preview build will give users "all of the Skype basics in the new, modern design along with many of the new features such as integration with the People Hub and a combined contact list with buddies from Windows Live Messenger. Additionally, you'll start receiving some call and message notifications - even when the app is closed and in the background."

You can get started by downloading the program from the Windows Phone Store, but Microsoft reminds us that not all of the code is final. If you're digging in, here's more on what you can expect:

Skype contacts in the People Hub.
Start your next Skype conversation straight from the People Hub. You can call or start a chat from there to any of your friends on Skype.
Login with Microsoft or Skype account.

You can now sign into Skype with either a Skype or Microsoft account, making it easier to connect with friends. You can merge your Skype and Microsoft accounts on our desktop applications.

Connect with Messenger buddies.
When you have logged in with your Microsoft account then you can talk with your friends regardless if they're on Skype or Messenger. You can merge your Skype and Microsoft accounts on the Skype desktop applications.

Always reachable.
You will now receive Skype calls and 1:1 chat messages even when the app is closed. Incoming call notifications and a Live Tile will notify you of missed conversations. The notifications work even when the device is locked.

Calls in background and call holding.
Skype calls continue even as you navigate to other apps on your phone. If someone calls you on your mobile number while you're on a Skype call, you can now put the Skype call on hold and switch between the calls.

Visual refresh.
A new fresh, modern design that puts the people and conversations that matter most to you front and center.

Favorite contacts.
Now you can select the most important people and add them to a dedicated Favorites screen.
Visual notification of call being held by remote party.

See when the person on the other end of the call puts you on hold.
Presence in contact list.

Skype for Windows Phone now shows presence in the contact list. Skype for Windows Phone has 2 presence states "Available" or "Invisible", legacy presence states are mapped to these.

As this is a preview release, then there are few known issues, which we are working hard to address.

Tags:  Phone, Skype, Windows, wp8