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?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.