Microsoft has announced that it is launching a preview of Skype for Outlook.com starting in the UK. The service will be made available in the U.S. and Germany in the coming weeks before it is rolled out to the rest of the world.
With the rollout of Skype for Web, the VoIP service joins Microsoft’s suite of online tools, including SkyDrive. Since its launch six months ago, Outlook.com, meant to replace the Hotmail brand and design, has garnered 60 million users. Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion back in October 2011.
Skype for Outlook.com requires a one-time download of a plugin, which is available for the most recent versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. Users can connect to Outlook.com using their Microsoft account. People who already have existing Skype accounts can link it to Outlook.com, which will allow them to add their Skype contacts to the email service.