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Briefly: Google Play refund extension, Skype for Windows Phone update

09/11, 5:42am

Google officially extends app refund window from 15 minutes to 2 hours

Google has extended the opportunity to receive a refund from purchases in the Google Play Store to two hours. Android Central notes the support page for the store has been updated to show the upgraded refund period for apps and games, up from the previous 15-minute limit. It is understood that Google offered the longer refund window to some customers over the last few weeks, and has only just made the policy official recently.

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Briefly: Group audio on Skype for iPhone, new Valiant Hearts for iOS

09/04, 4:40pm

Skype for iPhone adds group audio calling feature

Social communication platform Skype has updated its iPhone app, allowing users to now start a group audio call. Any chat, audio call or video call can be turned into a group audio call with up to four people. Free to download, Skype for iPhone requires iOS 7.0 or later to run.

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Skype chat notifications updated, will only display on active device

08/20, 2:58pm

Chat notifications hidden on unused devices if Skype in use elsewhere

Microsoft has updated the way Skype handles some of its notifications for multiple devices. As part of wider ongoing effort to improve the way Skype synchronizes messages between clients on different devices and systems, the Active Endpoint feature will only deliver chat notifications to the device currently being used, rather than to all logged-in devices.

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Skype promises Leopard-compatible client 'soon'

08/08, 3:07pm

VoIP service continues coping with backlash

A version of Skype compatible with OS X Leopard is in development, a company spokesperson now says. "We have a Skype version for Mac OS X 10.5 users which will soon be available for download," the person states. The release will not however be compatible with anything older, such as OS X Tiger.

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Skype suddenly blocks users with OS X 10.5 or earlier

08/07, 1:11pm

Possibility of Leopard-compatible update uncertain

Microsoft-owned Skype has, without warning, cut off support for users with OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or earlier, reports say. The company has given instructions on how to update the client software, but users say they don't appear to fix the problem. A spokesperson explains that the company doesn't "currently have a build that OS X Leopard (10.5) users could use."

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Microsoft updates Skype for Android, reveals Amazon Fire Phone app

07/23, 6:40pm

Skype update allows linking of phonebook with Microsoft account

Microsoft has made a few changes to Skype for Android, adding the option to connect the smartphone's address book to the service. At the same time, Microsoft has revealed it is releasing a version of the messaging app client for Amazon's Fire Phone, one which will take advantage of the smartphone's home screen and graphical effects.

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Briefly: Skype 5.2 for iPhone, Google Play Music for iOS updated

07/07, 2:55pm

Skype rolls out iPhone app update, re-introduces voice-message support

Microsoft has released v5.2 of the iPhone version of its Skype app. Users can now receive recorded messages from when they are offline within a conversation stream, and it can be listened to directly. User profiles can be viewed from one's contacts, displaying status, username, location and more. Additionally, participants can be added to existing conversations through the main menu on the bottom right-hand side. Skype v5.2 is free to download through iTunes.

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Briefly: Skype cuts old OS X client support, new PDF to JPG converter

06/22, 2:08pm

Skype to discontinue support for older versions of its Mac desktop clients

Online communications platform Skype has announced its plans to discontinue support for older versions of its desktop clients. Including Skype for Mac, the versions being phased out are v6.14 and older. The discontinuation aims to ensure feature compatibility across its versions of the software, and facilitate future innovations on a consistent base. The latest version, which can be downloaded via an in-app update or downloaded directly from Skype, offers newly-added features such as offline messaging.

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Briefly: Skype for iPhone 5.0 goes live, Launchbar 6

06/12, 2:02pm

Skype re-released on iTunes for iPhone, features new design

Microsoft has re-released Skype for iOS, featuring a clean redesign, new gestures and more. As previously reported, v5.0 of Skype includes a new modern hub-centric design that prioritizes recent conversations; users can swipe to see their favorite people or contacts. Messaging is more reliable, and users can create groups, share photos to offline contacts, and exchange video messages. In-app notifications for quick conversation switching is also available, and controls can manage the frequency of what one is notified about. Skype can be downloaded through iTunes for devices running iOS 7.0 or later.

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Briefly: Skype pulled from App Store; Soccer Fever section added

06/11, 12:16am

Skype removed from App Store in prep for all-new 5.0 for iPhone version

Although Skype continues to be a popular and widely-used service for Apple device owners, there is no shortage of complaints about the look of the app -- particularly the Mac version, which didn't cease when Microsoft took over development when it bought Skype. The company has now begun pulling the current version of Skype out of the iOS App Store as it begins to roll out the all-new version 5.0, which has specifically been created for iOS and the iPhone.

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Skype iPhone app gets redesign with new look, messaging features

06/09, 1:25pm

Update happening next week

Microsoft's Skype division has announced an impending redesign of its iPhone/iPod touch app, v5.0. The title should have a cleaner interface that's easier to navigate, in part through the introduction of Windows Phone-style swipe gestures that flip between tabs. Buttons at the bottom of the interface jump into the dialer or a list of open chats.

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Briefly: Skype voice translation, Creative Cloud adds older versions

05/28, 2:24am

Skype to offer voice translation, beta expected late this year

Microsoft today announced its plans to release a real-time translation of voice conversations using Skype. Skype Translator will allow users to speak in their native language to another user who speaks a different language, with the software automatically translating it to the other person. The beta is anticipated to be released later this year, with its commercial availability estimated for debut within the next two and a half years. In its current development stage, translation can convert between English to German. The translation service may be a paid feature.

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Outlook.com receives advances rules update, additional features

05/13, 9:28pm

E-mail sorting, an undo feature, in-line replies and chat options among updates

Microsoft spelled out some new features for Outlook.com today on their Office blog page about improvements to e-mail features and other connectivity. An advanced rules feature to sort e-mails and three other updates made their way to the online e-mail client ahead of Office 365 adoption.

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Skype makes group video calls free across Windows, Mac, Xbox

04/28, 10:34am

All platforms to open up in near future

Group video calls on Skype are now free for users on Windows desktops, OS X, and the Xbox One, according an announcement by the Microsoft-owned service. The company in fact says it intends to make group calls free across all platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and the Windows 8 "Metro" interface. A precise timetable hasn't been revealed.

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Microsoft reveals 'studio-grade' Skype TX for broadcasters

04/08, 7:36am

Broadcast industry standard inputs, updated interface for Skype use on television

Microsoft has unveiled a version of its Skype messaging service designed for broadcasters. Skype TX is called a "studio-grade" software born from its acquisition of broadcast partner Cat and Mouse, which is said to provide a high level of hardware and software integration of Skype into the studio environment for video connections outside the studio.

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Microsoft makes Skype available to all Outlook.com users

03/04, 12:34pm

Global launch allows Skype use within browser

Outlook.com users across the world will be able to use Skype from within their browser, Microsoft has revealed. Previously tested with a small number of users in the US and UK, the service allows all users of the e-mail service to make video calls, audio calls, and send messages to other Skype users, all from within the Outlook.com inbox.

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Microsoft decks continue to clear, two more executives headed out

03/03, 5:51pm

Nadella calls leadership consolidation 'go-forward approach'

Adding to a previous shuffle, Microsoft has made public a pair of high-profile executive departures as new CEO Satya Nadella takes the helm of the company. Tony Bates, the ex-CEO of Skype, and Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Marketing Tami Reller will be "pursuing other interests outside the company."

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Microsoft fixes Skype message synchronization between devices

02/13, 1:13pm

Messages to offline Skype users included in app update

Microsoft has finally fixed the way Skype synchronizes messages across multiple devices, the company has revealed, something that it hinted at late last year. Part of a larger update across multiple platforms, the change will allow users to read all received messages on an account regardless of whether a device is signed in or not, with messages read on one device causing it to be shown as read on all others.

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Intel talks RealSense at CES press conference

01/07, 2:10pm

RealSense will use embedded 3D cameras to allow for NII interface

Intel's CES press conference on Tuesday focused on the interaction between man and machine, thanks to an embedded 3D camera the company has developed in conjunction with a number of hardware partners. The devices Intel will integrate the technology into include 2-in-1 tablets, ultrabooks, touch-enabled all-in-one PCs, and other mobile devices.

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Skype update brings picture-in-picture to Android tablets

12/13, 8:18pm

Update lets Skype users keep chatting in other apps

Skype has rolled out an update to its Android app that lets tablet users continue to video chat even when they have gone into other apps. The new picture-in-picture feature pops up a small Skype window that persists even as a user moves away from the main Skype app. The update also contains a number of other additions, as well as fixes to assorted compatibility issues.

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Microsoft changes Skype partner in China, censoring seemingly lifted

11/27, 1:51pm

Skype traffic in China flows directly through Microsoft servers

Microsoft has moved to a new partner for providing Skype in China, one that could help improve privacy in the region. The messaging service will now be operated by Guangming Founder instead of TOM Online, with some reports suggesting that the move could potentially offer greater protections to users in China from monitoring by the country's government.

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Microsoft working on multi-device synchronization for Skype updates

11/25, 12:42pm

Call states, message notifications to synchronize in Skype in future

Microsoft will be making some changes to Skype, in order to address a number of problems on the messaging platform. Skype product manager Jeff Kunins revealed that the company is testing updates that will allow for full message synchronization across multiple devices, among a number of other items set to improve the service overall.

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Microsoft backtracks on Skype Desktop API cull, spares hardware

11/07, 12:26pm

Call recording, Skype-specific hardware to continue working through API

Microsoft has altered its plan of ending support for its Skype Desktop API, following feedback from users. Compatibility with Skype-enabled hardware and call recording apps will continue to be offered in the communications tool, though the same reprieve will not be extended to chat via third-party applications, which will end in December as originally planned.

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Microsoft closing third-party access to Skype desktop API

11/04, 5:16am

Third-party apps, accessories will stop working with Skype in December

Third party applications, add-ons and accessories will soon cease to function with Skype, according to a new dialog box warning appearing when the app starts up. The change, which will take place in December, could end up rendering a large number of Skype-specific hardware either partly or entirely non-functional to users.

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Microsoft showcases Kinect voice commands, multitasking of Xbox One

10/28, 7:16am

Apps can be snapped to side of screen by verbal commands

Microsoft has shown off how its Xbox One game console will work for multitasking between games and apps. A short video demonstrating quick switching and actions by voice commands through Kinect also shows how game players will be able to use multiple apps at the same time, as well as sharing content with other users.

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Luxembourg investigates Skype involvement in NSA's PRISM program

10/11, 9:37am

Government considers banning information sharing

Luxembourg's data-protection commissioner has reportedly opened an investigation into connections between Skype and the National Security Agency's PRISM surveillance program, according to a Guardian report. The commissioner is said to be looking into potential violations of the country's data-protection and privacy laws, which could lead to fines or other sanctions.

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Briefly: Skype for Android tablets, Digg on Android adds unread mode

10/09, 4:56am

Microsoft updates Skype for Android with new tablet mode, better video

Microsoft has updated the Android version of Skype, days after updating the iOS variant. Version 4.4 adds a new interface for tablet users, as well as improved video call quality of up to four times the resolution of earlier versions, along with smaller updates in the form of UI changes, audio routing modifications, and a fix for an issue that caused some phones to reboot on an incoming call.

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Briefly: Skype updated for iOS 7, Disconnect's private search plug-in

10/07, 5:24pm

Skype upgrades accessibility features, interface style

International communication platform Skype has updated its app for iPhone and iPad, following the recent launch of iOS 7. Version 4.13 showcases a revamped interface, reflecting a similar aesthetic to iOS 7; general bug fixes are also included. Accessibility features have been improved, such as touch-type support for the dialpad, and VoiceOver can now announce the sender's name when messaging, as well as provide improved accuracy during group chatting. Though optimized for iPhone 5, Skype 4.13 is compatible with all devices using iOS 5 or later, and can be downloaded from iTunes for free.

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Briefly: Skype for Mac receives update, Tropic 4 DLC coming in Oct

09/26, 10:45am

Skype update fixes chat message bug

Skype for Mac has received a new update that simplifies the sharing experience and fixes a couple of bugs. Now when screen sharing on a Mac, users are given the choice to share either the entire screen or only a specific window. Support for three new languages has also been added, and a bug that caused some chat messages to not display has been fixed. A full list of changes can be found on Skype's blog page.

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Skype working on 3D calls, shows Xbox One voice chat codec quality

08/29, 3:22pm

Possible Skype on PlayStation 4 not ruled out by Skype VP

Engineers at Skype have been working on 3D video calls, though it is unlikely to offer it to users for some time. The future video technology is revealed at the same time as Microsoft shows how Skype's audio codec is being employed in the Xbox One game console to provide higher-quality voice chat, when compared to the Xbox 360.

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Briefly: TwitchTV updated, Skype now supports HD calls on iOS

08/12, 1:22pm

Over 750 channels now available to iOS app

The largest video platform and community for gamers, Twitch, has updated its TwitchTV app for iOS to Version 2.3.5. TwitchTV lets users stream gaming video on demand, and chat with other users. One can browse for content by channel or game, and receive push notifications for when one's preferred channels are live. Version 2.3.5 offers more stable chat and bug fixes. Additionally, more than 750 of the top currently broadcasting channels are now viewable on the iOS app, and the Following view now allows toggling between mobile-viewable streams and those available on Twitch's site. TwitchTV is available for free on iTunes.

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Microsoft calls 2013 'biggest innovation year ever,' teases releases

07/10, 4:24pm

Presentation points to upcoming Surface updates, more MS stores

During today's Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner called this year the company's "biggest innovation year ever" and teased new releases from the Seattle-based company. At the end of his remarks, Turner displayed a slide showing major releases from nearly every aspect of the company -- including Office, some Surface revisions, and a host of Skype improvements.

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Skype reaches 100M Android client installs, updates app with redesign

07/01, 12:11pm

Refreshed interface, improved loading times in new Skype client

Skype has released an update for its Android client today, at the same time as revealing the app has broken the 100 million installations barrier. Version 4.0 of the messaging app introduces a few design aspects and the general theme of the Skype client used in Windows 8, as well as a number of performance improvements.

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Skype Video Messaging emerges from preview in mobile, desktop apps

06/17, 12:01pm

Most native apps updated

Microsoft-owned Skype today announced that its Video Messaging feature has left the preview stage and should now be available in most of its native client apps. Desktop support includes OS X and Windows/Windows 8. Compatible mobile platforms, meanwhile, include iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry.

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Briefly: Google+ Hangouts remote desktop, Skype update in Windows 8

05/02, 12:11pm

Google adds remote desktop feature to Google+ Hangouts

Google+ users can now remotely control a desktop in Hangouts, something suggested by the company to help in long-distance technical support. The feature uses the same background tech from Chrome Remote Desktop, according to Google staffer Daniel Caiafa in a Google+ update. When enabled from the Apps section, Hangouts Remote Desktop will ask permission to allow the other user to control the computer, while still allowing both sides to talk and see each other throughout the control session.

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Outlook.com users in UK gain in-browser Skype calls, US in future

04/30, 11:56am

Skype in Outlook.com accompanied by Windows client update

Microsoft has added the ability to make Skype calls within the Outlook.com e-mail service. The site, which left beta in February, will allow Outlook users in the United Kingdom to access their Skype contacts, make calls, and communicate using instant messages, all from within the browser instead of launching external applications.

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Saudi govt moves to exert control over Whatsapp, Skype

03/31, 8:33pm

Messaging tools could be in violation of Saudi laws

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued orders to its regulatory bodies to ensure that communication tools like Skype and Whatsapp comply with the government's stringent requirements governing Internet communications. The kingdom's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced last week that it had "become evident that some communication applications through (the) Internet don't meet regulatory requirements." The regulatory body did not, though, specify which laws certain apps might be violating.

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Windows 8 Skype gets contact blocking in update

03/30, 6:36pm

Contact blocking, performance updates included in new update

Windows 8 users running Skype will now have the option to exert greater control over who can contact them, thanks to a new software update. Version 1.6 of Skype, tipped by the company in a blog post on Friday, brings the ability to block contacts. The update also includes a number of performance enhancements for the audio and video chatting software.

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Skype provides video messaging, Messenger migration dates

02/15, 1:54pm

Users to start move from Windows Live Messenger April 8th

Microsoft has updated Skype to allow video messages to be sent to users, in the US and the UK. The new addition to the VOIP-based service comes at the same time as a revised timetable for Microsoft's migration of users from Windows Live Messenger to Skype shows it will start restricting access to Messenger from April 8th, forcing users to change services.

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Skype offers direct carrier billing to users in Russia

02/05, 2:54pm

Mobile payments service Mach plans same for US, Canada

Voice over IP service Skype has started to support direct carrier billing for Skype Credit in Russia, with the United States and Canada set to follow. The new mobile payments option will allow Skype users to purchase Skype Credit directly from the mobile device through their smartphone's browser, with the charge being applied to their account.

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Microsoft to retire Windows Live Messenger on March 15th

01/09, 9:37am

Deadline issued for user migrations to Skype service

Microsoft has announced the date when it will shut down Windows Live Messenger. Users of the messaging service will have until March 15th to migrate over to Skype before the servers are shut down for most of the world, with mainland China being the sole market left using the service due to Skype being run by a company called TOM.

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Changes to Skype terms confirms Video Messaging service

12/05, 5:56pm

Pre-recorded video messaging to be added in near future

Skype is planning to offer video messaging as part of its paid-for service. A change to the terms of service confirmed rumors that the Microsoft-owned messaging network would allow its users to send a pre-recorded video clip to other Skype users, with limitations placed on how many can be sent on non-premium accounts.

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Syrian rebels use Skype, satellite phones to avoid outages

12/02, 7:23pm

Smuggled equipment used to bypass phone lines, cell networks

It has been revealed that Syrian rebels have resorted to using Skype to communicate with each other during the recent country-wide Internet outage. The messaging and voice-calling service was used alongside stockpiled equipment and a satellite connection so as to communicate with others around the country as well as overseas, despite government efforts to stop this from happening.

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Skype, TomTom, Vimeo iOS apps get major updates

11/28, 10:56am

Skype allows merging Messenger, Hotmail, Outlook contacts

Several key iOS apps have received major updates today, most notably Skype and Skype for iPad. The pair can now access Messenger, Hotmail, and Outlook.com contacts after a person has entered their Microsoft account info. People who haven't used Skype before can now finally create an account from within the app, and instant messaging has been improved with selectable emoticons, and the ability to edit messages by tapping and holding. On the dialpad, saved phone numbers can be edited without having to visit a separate window.

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Briefly: Skype for Android 3.0, Cellhelmet iPhone 5 case

11/20, 6:43pm

Skype for Android optimized for tablets

An updated version of Skype for Android featuring support for larger displays has been released. Version 3.0 also includes support for Skype's SILK sideband audio codec, which was designed to capture the full range of human speech. The codec is also aware of a user's connection speed, and will dynamically adjust to provide the best possible audio quality on the fly.

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Skype brings in-store, online gift card scheme to the US

11/20, 9:51am

Giftable Skype credit sold from Microsoft Stores, Facebook

Skype has launched its gift card scheme in the US in time for the holiday season. Mirroring the same promotional efforts in Mexico and the United Kingdom, Microsoft has put both digital and physical versions of the prepaid Skype credit on sale, which can be used towards subscriptions as well as flat credit international calling.

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Skype offers free month of international phone calls

11/15, 1:03pm

Call promotion ends tonight, for existing users only

Skype is offering a free international calling for a one-month period, in an effort to promote its international calling subscriptions. Open to existing customers of the messaging and voice call service until the end of today, the promotion includes free calling to landlines in 40 countries around the world and mobile calls to seven, including to the US, Canada, and Hong Kong.

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Microsoft stops Skype password resets over security issue

11/14, 8:19am

Password reset token core to two-month-old flaw

A security hole in Skype's account management has been discovered by Russian hackers. Posted on a forum two months ago, the flaw revolves around the password reset function and requires the user's e-mail address to accomplish, and finishes with the hacker gaining control of the Skype account while locking the legitimate user out.

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Microsoft releases preview Skype app for Windows Phone 8

11/12, 5:46am

Preview includes always-on background service, full video chat

Microsoft has released a preview version of Skype for Windows Phone 8. Announced during the recent Windows Phone 8 event, the preview version includes the ability for the app to run as a background service, saving on battery power and processing, and for incoming Skype calls to come through to the handset in the same style as a normal phone call.

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Microsoft confirms switch from Messenger to Skype

11/06, 4:13pm

Microsoft says move will allow broader device support

Microsoft today confirmed rumors it was preparing to retire its Windows Live Messenger service in favor of Skype. Starting early next year, Microsoft will begin migrating Windows Live Messenger users to Skype, which the software giant purchased last year for $8.5 billion. Microsoft says that the move will allow the software giant to provide broader device support on all platforms for instant messaging, land and mobile calls, and video calls.

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