Microsoft is looking to beef up their Outlook.com platform and one of the ways that they will do this is through close integration between the email service and their voice over IP application, Skype.
The service will first be made available to customers within the United Kingdom and due to the integration between the two platforms, users will no longer need to open a separate application to Skype. Instead, through Outlook.com, customers can access contacts, call through Skype as well IM, all through one browser.
The service will be rolled out slowly, beginning with the UK. Once Microsoft feels comfortable that the network can support the load and that there are no issues discovered, the Redmond company will then roll out to other countries, including the United States. When your account has been updated with Skype access, Microsoft will send you a pop up notification as well as instructions on how to link your Skype and Microsoft profiles together. One thing to note is that the web version of this service does require a plug-in that must be installed prior to being able to make video or audio calls. If you just plan to use Instant Messaging, this plug-in is not required.