London: Microsoft has announced that its Outlook.com will now support Skype video calling.
The rollout will start in the UK, where Outlook.com users will be able to make audio and video calls as well as send Skype instant messages only by installing a browser plug-in, the BBC reports.
According to the report, the UK-based users will be the first to witness a ‘preview version’ of the technology, followed by US and Germany availability ‘in the coming weeks.’
Skype has said in a blog post that the integration will allow selecting the right medium for messages via e-mails, calls, video calls or instant messages, adding that Microsoft’s messenger service will also be made available to the users who can call messenger users from Outlook.com.
The report said that Microsoft has closed its web mail chat tool to strike a 8.5 billion dollar deal with Skype in 2011, the biggest ever takeover by the firm to buy out even eBay and other private investors.
However, Gmail application Comscore suggests that Gmail is more popular than Microsoft''s webmail services, where in March, Microsoft accounted for 19.7% of global webmail usage compared to Gmail''s 20.8% share, following Google''s mobile platform increasing popularity than Microsoft''s Windows phone.
A senior analyst Karin von Abrams has questioned Microsoft’s strategy behind buying Skype, stating that buying Skype at a huge price point does not seem wise enough to make people opt for Outlook.com than other services.
Meanwhile, rival messaging services like Viber and Whatsapp are growing much quicker with a lot of people joining the mobile platform, indicating that the future is in the cellular technology.
While Microsoft has tried to integrate their services with Skype, making it easier for their users, analysts do not think it to be reason enough for the users to switch from other services.
First Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 13:16