Feeds

Microsoft shoehorns Skype into Outlook.com - we quickly kick the tyres

Phonecalls-in-webmail plugin unleashed on the web, what could possibly go wrong?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Vid Microsoft has slotted voice-chat app Skype into Outlook.com, melding email and telephony into a single platform - which almost works smoothly.

The functionality comes with a browser plugin, and makes video and voice calling as simple as sending an email, aping Google's Hangout platform but with Skype's infrastructure.

Outlook will keep track of one's existing Skype account, storing the password and username – though given they're both run by Microsoft that's not really a security issue. One's Skype contacts are supposed to appear in Outlook, but when we tried it they all appeared as "(Unnamed)" and lacked any contact details at all, forcing us to go back to the Skype client to call them.

Here's a video of how someone in Redmond imagined the software would work:

But others have had more luck integrating their accounts so perhaps we shouldn't judge the service just yet. The plugin is available for Internet Explorer 8 and higher, Chrome 19 and Firefox 12, on Windows. Mac users will need Chrome or Firefox, but don't expect compatibility with Safari or the Mac version of IE either.

Windows RT users will be disappointed too, as the plugin won't work for them, but RT users are probably used to such disappointments by now.

But assuming one has the right browser, and agrees to merge Skype and Outlook accounts, then a bar should pop up offering the Skype plugin and everything should work perfectly.

The move was announced earlier this year, and has been in testing for a while, so it comes as no surprise. Bringing together two of Microsoft's most important brands is a sensible move, though one has to wonder how long the Skype brand will last in this new world of truly unified communications. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.