Microsoft is making use of its Skype acquisition for Windows 8.1, opting to bundle it into a final version of the OS. Existing preview versions of Windows 8.1 do not include the traditional built-in Messaging app. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed to The Verge that the final version of Windows 8.1 will kill off the Messaging app in favor of Skype integration.
Skype is more tightly integrated in Windows 8.1, with improvements to answer voice and video calls from the lock screen. The decision to drop the existing Messaging app is all part of the Messenger service retirement. Microsoft started to force Messenger desktop users over to Skype in April, but the Windows 8 Messaging app was left untouched. The built-in version of Skype for Windows 8.1 will likely work in the same way it does today, as a separate application with close ties to additional apps. Windows 8.1 is expected to debut later this year alongside new 7- and 8-inch form factors.