Coming for Skype: “Great experiences” on Windows Phone, and a “boatload” of Facebook releases

By Kip Kniskern | Posted August 9, 2011 19 comments

skypeIn an interview with Forbes, Skype VP/GM of products and marketing Neil Stevens provided for the first time a bit more detail about how Skype will fit in with Microsoft once the 8.5 billion dollar acquisition deal is approved by European regulators, expected by the end of the year.  Stevens, while mentioning Skype integration with Xbox, Lync, and upcoming Windows 8 devices, confirmed that a mobile version of Skype for Windows Phones is coming.

Skype wants to create an app “that doesn’t feel like an app”, something only possible with access to “deeper levels of the OS”, according to Stevens:

“A Windows Phone app, if done well, can show people what a really great Skype experience is like when there are no hardware or vendor limitations,” says Stevens.

Skype runs into those very limitations when developing for Apple’s iOS operating system or Android, according to Stevens. Apple, for example, doesn’t let Skype touch the iPhone’s video processor or address book. Google allows the latter, but not the former. “We’re disadvantaged against [Apple’s video-chat service] FaceTime because of this closed environment,” says Stevens.

No word as of yet about any kind of interim Skype app for current or Mango Windows Phones, although we doubt either Microsoft or Skype would want to wait until the next release of Windows Phone to provide any sort of integration.

Stevens also said that while the kinks are still being worked out on Skype’s Facebook online video-chat service, it will be ramping up in the next few weeks, and there will be lots more to come:

Once Facebook webchat is deployed, Skype will add the ability to make outbound calls to landlines and cellphones from within Facebook and to call from Skype into Facebook. Some of these calls will require payment via Skype Credit, which will enable Skype to make money from the (currently free) service. A Skype/Facebook mobile calling app and group video-chatting on Facebook will also arrive, eventually. Stevens says the roadmap shows that Skype’s Facebook alliance is not a “one-time, one-product” relationship. “We have a plan to build out a number of products with Facebook,” he says. “We’ll be Facebook’s key partner for communications.”

And of course that “we” includes Microsoft, as it’s becoming more apparent that the Skype deal will solidify and broaden Microsoft’s relationship with Facebook.  Microsoft already connects to Facebook Chat through Windows Live Messenger, and we’ll be very interested to see how the Messenger and Skype brands evolve as all of this moves forward.

Posted August 9th, 2011 at 10:26 pm
  • Candid Calum

    They shouldn’t develop a separate app for Windows Phone even if it does provide deeper operating system integration; Microsoft should implement Skype into the whole operating system like they have with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Windows Live.

    • Chris

      I agree but the EU will bitch about it. I don’t get why microsoft is bowing down to those bastards.

      • bradavon

        You know what the EU is right? If you want to trade in EU countries, you play nice with The EU.

    • hysonmb

      There was a job posting for a Skype developer to work on providing an experience for Windows Phone using C++ which mean that it’s going to be a native application at some point. All of the 3rd party apps are with XNA or Silverlight.

  • Candid Calum

    They shouldn’t develop a separate app for Windows Phone even if it does provide deeper operating system integration; Microsoft should implement Skype into the whole operating system like they have with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Windows Live.

    • Chris

      I agree but the EU will bitch about it. I don’t get why microsoft is bowing down to those bastards.

      • Anonymous

        You know what the EU is right? If you want to trade in EU countries, you play nice with The EU.

    • Anonymous

      There was a job posting for a Skype developer to work on providing an experience for Windows Phone using C++ which mean that it’s going to be a native application at some point. All of the 3rd party apps are with XNA or Silverlight.

  • Candid Calum

    They shouldn’t develop a separate app for Windows Phone even if it does provide deeper operating system integration; Microsoft should implement Skype into the whole operating system like they have with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Windows Live.

    • Chris

      I agree but the EU will bitch about it. I don’t get why microsoft is bowing down to those bastards.

      • Anonymous

        You know what the EU is right? If you want to trade in EU countries, you play nice with The EU.

    • Anonymous

      There was a job posting for a Skype developer to work on providing an experience for Windows Phone using C++ which mean that it’s going to be a native application at some point. All of the 3rd party apps are with XNA or Silverlight.

  • tropolite

    WOW.

    If they do this right, and I see with these three big players collaborating and ‘communicating’ well, there is a big bright future awaiting us, the consumer in general. BRING IT ON! (I did find it amusing to read Stevens talk about Apple ‘closed environment’ – Skype ‘was’ a very similar closed entity).

  • http://twitter.com/TroySchuster Troy Schuster

    WOW.

    If they do this right, and I see with these three big players collaborating and ‘communicating’ well, there is a big bright future awaiting us, the consumer in general. BRING IT ON! (I did find it amusing to read Stevens talk about Apple ‘closed environment’ – Skype ‘was’ a very similar closed entity).

  • http://twitter.com/TroySchuster Troy Schuster

    WOW.

    If they do this right, and I see with these three big players collaborating and ‘communicating’ well, there is a big bright future awaiting us, the consumer in general. BRING IT ON! (I did find it amusing to read Stevens talk about Apple ‘closed environment’ – Skype ‘was’ a very similar closed entity).

  • Travis Pope

    Pretty sure we’re getting an interim build of Skype until it’s better intergrated I remember this at MIX http://www.wpcentral.com/skype-definitely-bringing-video-calls-windows-phone

  • http://twitter.com/harlemS Travis Pope

    Pretty sure we’re getting an interim build of Skype until it’s better intergrated I remember this at MIX http://www.wpcentral.com/skype-definitely-bringing-video-calls-windows-phone

  • Guester

    I think more discussion is needed on this site with regards to Live Messenger’s fate in the face of the Skype/Facebook collaboration. Aren’t they developing/have developed a desktop Messenger application? (Just like Live Messenger)…

  • Guester

    I think more discussion is needed on this site with regards to Live Messenger’s fate in the face of the Skype/Facebook collaboration. Aren’t they developing/have developed a desktop Messenger application? (Just like Live Messenger)…