Microsoft is now trialling Skype phone calls via Outlook.com. Microsoft-owned Skype announced today that its parent company is rolling out a preview version of Skype for Outlook.com. This version of Skype for Outlook will allow Outlook users to make video and voice calls directly from their inbox and is available only in the United Kingdom.
"Even with the best email service, sometimes text isn’t enough," Skype said in a blog posting. "We all face those situations where it’s just easier to jump on a call to talk something through. Sometimes that quick call can accomplish more than a long email reply. That’s why we are bringing Skype audio and video calling to your Outlook.com inbox."
You'll need to download the plug-in (which supports the most recent versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox) before you can get started. Once you do, you'll be asked to merge your Skype and Outlook/Microsoft accounts. This will port all of your Skype contacts to Outlook.com and allow you to make calls from inside your mailbox.
Though the service is UK-only for now, Microsoft plans to roll out Skype for Outlook to the United States and Germany in the coming weeks. Worldwide availability is expected this summer. Check out Skype for Outlook in action in the video below: