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Skype is available for Outlook.com worldwide. From now on any Outlook.com user, after installing a plugin, can make video calls from the website without having to open Skype. In the following article, we'll show you how easy it is.

After Microsoft bought Skype in 2011, Redmond have been working hard to achieve the full integration of their services: replacing Messenger with Skype was just the beginning. Now, thanks to this new feature, it's easier to call your Microsoft contacts via Skype.

First things first: have you integrated your Microsoft account with your Skype account?

If, when Microsoft announced that they were “shutting down” Messenger, you followed the steps to integrate your account with Skype, then you don’t need to do anything. But if you haven’t done it yet, you should do it now: that way you’ll have access to your Skype contacts to send instant messages, and make free calls and video chats from Outlook.com.

To integrate the accounts, all you have to do is log on to Skype with your Microsoft (@ hotmail, @ outlook, @ msn ...) account. You have more information in this article.

Install the Skype plugin

To make video calls from Outlook.com with Skype you need to install a web plugin. The easiest way to do this is:

1. Look for the contact you want to call in Outlook.com. Check that the contact is available in either Messenger or Skype.

Outlook.com Skype calls

2. Click on the camera icon (for a video chat) or the phone icon (for a call without video).

Outlook.com Skype calls

3. You’ll get a popup window that asks you to install the Skype web plugin.

Skype plugin

4. Follow the instructions on the screen to install the plugin.

Skype plugin

Start calling!

Once the plugin is installed, you can start calling straight from Outlook.com.

Don’t forget that you can’t make a video call without a microphone and speakers. And if you want your conversation partner to see you, you’ll also need a webcam.

Although Microsoft says the quality of the call is HD, it will depend on the quality of the internet connection and the devices both participants are using.

Skype in Outlook.com

Wrapping up: A great invention

Being able to make video calls from Outlook.com is fantastic, and it shows Microsoft’s commitment to promoting integration between different services and providing access to them from anywhere.

If you access Microsoft Outlook.com with your account, not only will you have access to your email, you'll also be able to make Skype calls directly from the browser, access Office Online and all your files stored on OneDrive. For me, it’s brilliant.

Have you tried calling from Outlook.com? What do you think?

Commented

29/08/14
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