After many long months of waiting, videoconferencing enthusiasts with a Windows Phone can finally rejoice: Skype is finally available for devices running Microsoft’s operating system.
Users will be able to make free audio and video calls to other Skype contacts over 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi; make calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype credit, and have group chats. The app has a Metro tile UI look to it and also has easy access to contacts, a dial-pad, and a list of recent calls or chats in an interface similar to how the phone hub looks.
Microsoft announced that the beta version of Skype for this platform can be downloaded now if you have a Windows Phone 7.5-powered phone and one of the following devices: a Nokia Lumia 710, a Nokia Lumia 800, an HTC Titan, an HTC Radar, a Samsung Focus S, or a Samsung Focus Flash. The company also reported that it will be available on more devices soon.
The Skype app for Windows Phone is its own app rather than being deeply integrated into the Mango OS. The two might eventually combine into one entity in the future, but for now, users will have to get the app from the Marketplace.
In late August, we covered the original announcement of the availability of Skype for Windows Phone. It’s curious that the release took so long, as Microsoft bought Skype last year.