I rock! :p
I wrote the post below two months ago and it basically reads like a play-by-play for how Microsoft have integrated Skype into Windows Phone 8.
Granted I talk a lot of crap, so statistically something had to be correct eventually, but still, I'll take a win however I can get one.
Has anyone else made any freaky calls on Microsoft tech they'd like to share? (e.g. did anyone predict the Surface was coming or Windows RT would have Office built-in?)
I was thinking the same thing. An extension of the "contracts" used in Windows 8 to allow apps a standard way to integrate into the hubs without needing Microsoft to update the OS would be ideal.
Android and WebOS actually have (had) variations of this concept, but I think it can be done better.
I actually have a theory that Microsoft will be looking to implement this type of functionality to allow for Skype as well.
I don’t think Microsoft has the clout with the carriers to integrate Skype directly, yet Microsoft need Skype built into the hubs to follow the Windows Phone pattern.
The best way I can see to accomplish this would be to extend contracts to implement such things as "video call provider", "audio call provider", "contact provider" etc.
If an app like Skype implemented these contracts correctly it could be integrated directly into the hubs like a first party app without Microsoft needing to actually include it as part of the Windows Phone OS build. It would also mean app updates could improve hub functionality without waiting for a complete OS update