Microsoft has been ramping up its email service over the past few months. The company first rebranded Hotmail as Outlook and since then, has been adding many new features to it. Microsoft has announced that Outlook users in the U.K. can make Skype calls directly from their Outlook.com inbox.
Integration of Skype with Outlook.com makes a lot of sense, not only for Microsoft but also for the users. Microsoft is obviously trying to bring together its email and chat clients and integrate them tightly to offer an email experience that is unmatched by any other.
According to the official blog post from Microsoft, “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. With Skype for Outlook.com, you can choose the right medium for your message, whether it is an email, call, video call or instant message (IM) — you can connect with your Skype and Messenger friends all in the same place.”
This does make sense. And the sheer ease of making Skype calls straight from Outlook.com inbox after reading an email can be a very welcome feature for professionals and common users alike. However, to enable the feature on your Outlook.com inbox, you first need to download a browser plugin. This plugin is currently available for Internet Explorer, Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
The move shows that Microsoft is putting a lot of effort into its Outlook.com brand. While Outlook is far from being a Gmail competitor, Microsoft does seem to be gearing up to compete the Google-supported email service.