Microsoft is revealing the next part of its Skype strategy today by confirming it plans to bundle its voice and video calling service into Windows 8.1. While the plans had been previously rumored, and a recently leaked near-final Windows 8.1 build demonstrated the integration, Microsoft is officially confirming the bundling today. The Skype application will take the place of Microsoft's Windows 8 Messaging app, providing voice, video, and instant messaging.
The announcement isn't surprising given the company's integration with the Xbox One, Outlook.com, and even the Office Outlook desktop email client. Windows 8.1's Skype integration includes the ability to answer voice and video calls from the lock screen, a change that's designed for the upcoming 7- and 8-inch tablets. Microsoft says the Skype bundling is part of "more than 20 new and improved Microsoft apps and services that come as part of Windows 8.1."