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Introducing New Skype for Windows Phone 8.1 & Improved Skype for Windows 8.1

At Microsoft’s Build Conference in San Francisco today, the developer community’s best and brightest have come together to learn about the future of the Microsoft platform, product updates, and opportunities. Anyone paying close attention to the news at Build will know that Microsoft has announced Windows Phone 8.1, which has been reinvented around you. And we’re excited to join them on this journey as we announce a new Skype app for Windows Phone 8.1 coming soon!

Today, most people have their first experience of Skype on a mobile device, so we’ve been working hard to make sure our users have the best experience possible on the go.  So, what does this look like for Windows Phone 8.1 users?

Enjoy more time chatting face to face

 As with Windows 8.1, we’ve made integration a priority to make sure our users have a great next generation experience. We know Skype users feel most connected to their friends and family when they can see their faces.  For the first time on mobile, you can easily upgrade your regular phone calls to Skype video calls. You can preview the feature in the current Store app, with more to come in the next few months.

 

Use Cortana, Windows Phone’s personal assistant, to quickly start Skype calls on the go

Skype will work closely with Cortana – Windows Phone 8.1’s assistant who keeps you closer to the people and things that matter the most. People with a Windows Phone 8.1 device can use Cortana to quickly and easily start Skype calls. It’s as easy as saying “Skype, get Lara Kingwell on video”.  Cortana will be included in a Skype for Windows Phone 8.1 update, which will be released in the coming months.

We’ll also be bringing Windows Phone 8.1 customers the great Skype features they have come to know and love on their other Windows Phone devices, including:

  • Being always on to help you stay connected with the people who matter most, giving you real time notifications and updates on the Live Tile
  • People hub, allowing you to video call those closest to you directly through your contacts
  • Video Instant Messaging, letting you stay in contacts with the people you care about most, even when they’re offline
  • HD 720p video calling
  • Navigation through the app using the beautiful modern user interface
  • The things you love most on Skype for Windows Phone: video calling, instant messaging and audio calling.

With Skype for Windows Phone 8.1, it will be easier than ever to reach the special people in your life across all of your phones, tablets and computers – and not forgetting Xbox and TVs. We’re eager for you to get your hands on it, so stay tuned for more from us in the coming months!

And new on Windows 8.1…

As part of Build, we also announced improvements to make your Windows 8.1 experience more accessible and familiar. Skype for Windows Modern is built for touch devices, but we know that many users use 2-in-1 devices and often work in the desktop mode, switching between modern and desktop apps. We wanted to make that easier. So now your built-in Skype app can be pinned to the taskbar and accessible either on your start screen or on the desktop. The Windows 8.1 update is free to Windows 8 and Windows RT users, and the latest version of Skype will come with it. To pin Skype to the taskbar, hold down or right click on the Skype tile and select Pin to Taskbar.

We will continue to deliver the best experience possible by providing regular updates to Skype over time. We received valuable feedback since the launch of both Skype for Windows Phone 8 and Skype for Windows 8.1 and we will continue to listen as we launch future versions.

5 thoughts on “Introducing New Skype for Windows Phone 8.1 & Improved Skype for Windows 8.1

  1. Will we finally get group chat notifications?

    • Shana Pearlman said 7 months ago

      We hear you and appreciate your feedback. In this release, we prioritized the capabilities that customers use most, and in future releases, we’ll include even more.

  2. Interested by the Skype / Cortana integration. It would be nice if the commands were all less robotic, though. Never in my life would I say “Skype Video Call Nick” over “Cortana, call Nick on Skype” or “Cortana, start a Skype video call with Nick”.

    There’s some feedback to print out and mail to the product team! You’re welcome.

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