Microsoft has disclosed that its Skype video calling and messaging service will now be integrated with the Outlook.com email service, with the rollout beginning in the UK.
The updated Outlook.com will be available first to a select group of UK users, and will then be made available to the US and Germany, before the full worldwide rollout later this year.
"If you already have a Skype account, you can link it to your Microsoft account – your Skype contacts will appear in your contact list and you can call or message them directly from Outlook.com," said Douglas Pearce, Microsoft's principal program manager for Windows Live, on the company blog.
"For example, if you get an email from someone and want to call them, use your mouse to point to their picture. You'll see all the different ways you can reach them."
To make audio or video calls, Outlook.com users will be prompted to first install the Skype web plug-in for their browser.
Microsoft acquired Skype in October 2011 for $8.5bn, and added integration between the Skype and its Outlook mail application in January this year with the release of Skype 6.1 for Windows.
Microsoft also released a version of the Skype client for its Windows 8 platform last year.
Microsoft has recently released an update to the Outlook calendar, refreshed the Outlook app for Android devices and established two-factor authentication for Outlook accounts.
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