You Can Now Skype From Within a Browser

Microsoft has finally decided to roll out web-based Skype calling. Over the coming weeks, users will be able to make Skype video and voice calls from within Outlook.com on their browsers.

When it rolled out the new Outlook.com email service last year, Microsoft promised Skype integration—it's just taken quite a long time to arrive. It's not as neat as you might hope, though: to use the service, you'll need to install a browser plugin that bridges Skype and Outlook.com.

The plug-in will work with the most recent versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox, and if you decide to pair your Skype and Outlook.com accounts you'll be prompted to download it immediately. Once installed, you'll be able to make voice and video calls from within your webmail account, as well as send instant messages.

Apparently, the software is actually a first try: depending on feedback, it'll be redesigned and improved. Microsoft doesn't use the word beta but... uh, that's what it means. The service rolls out in the UK today, and the US and Germany will follow in the "coming weeks". [Skype Blog via Verge]