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Skype launches for Outlook.com email service

Skype combines email with video calling

Skype for Outlook

Skype for Outlook.com has launched as a preview version in the UK today and is coming to the US in a few weeks.

Microsoft's email client is the latest platform on which Skype has launched. It's already available as an app and software for numerous devices and operating systems. Skype said the full version will be available to all Outlook.com users this summer. See also: Skype for Windows 8 review.

Skype said: "Even with the best email service, sometimes text alone isn’t enough, and we all face those situations where it is just easier to give someone a quick call. Now, with the Skype for Outlook.com preview, you can choose the right medium for your message, whether it is an email, call, video call or instant message"

Users simply need to install a plugin for their browser, whether it's Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox. Once the plugin is downloaded and installed, users can add their Skype account to Outlook.com.

See also: Instant messaging overtakes the humble SMS text.

Once signed in, users will be asked to link their Skype and Outlook.com accounts. This can be done in a few steps and allows Skype contacts to be added to the Outlook account.

When using the email service, a friend can be video called by using the Skype buttons which pop up by moving the mouse over their profile picture.

"We’re excited to offer many of the best ways to keep in touch in one place. With the preview version of Skype for Outlook.com, we’re bringing two great communication experiences together and helping you stay in touch virtually anytime, anywhere." added Skype.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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