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Microsoft rolls out always-on Skype for Windows Phone 8

Yet another way to let people contact you ALL THE TIME

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Microsoft has dropped Skype for Windows Phone 8 into its app store, the pocket-sized version of its desktop counterpart.

Once you've sorted out your account, you'll be able to see which of your friends have Skype and then make a Skype call, regular call, text, email or Facebook from the "People Hub". The People Hub in Windows Phone integrates all the info you might have about a friend - including phone number, email addy, Facebook, Twitter account - into one place, and periodically searches for new info.

The previous version - Skype for Windows Phone 7.5 - does not integrate the app as deeply, and so it's not hooked up into the People hub or the phone's notification system.

The new integrated app is now "always on", allowing Skype messages and calls to be received even if the app is not running in the foreground. If the power of Skype Names and Microsoft accounts are combined, Skype will let Messenger buddies video call each other, to and from phones and other devices.

Skype also runs in the background of the phone so folks can keep getting calls and messages without the app open and sucking up the power. Windows Phone owners can put Skype on their start screen in a live tile and have Skype notifications on the lock screen along with missed calls and unread emails and texts. ®

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