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Free Download: Windows Phone 8 Skype Preview App

Skype_logo_thumb As of now, a Preview version of the Skype app is available for Windows phone 8.

Skype Preview Version Appears For Windows Phone 8

A preview version of Skype has been made available for Windows Phone. It brings onboard exclusive features for the mobile platform. It has been announced as the replacement for Windows Live Messenger (which in its time replaced MSN messenger). Skype is a well-known VoIP service that allows you to have voice and video chats over the internet and also allows you to call actual phone numbers and receives calls through the internet. It is popular for its low rates for international calls. The Preview app can now be downloaded from the online app store for Windows Phone 8 devices.

 

Required Memory: 512

Skype_logo

  • The minimum system requirements for this app is 512MB of memory, which is quite high for a mobile app.

We had already seen some of the features on October 29 when snaps of the app became public. This version is a preview version, so it has all the features but may have stability issues and bugs.

The main highlight of Skype on Windows Phone 8 is better hardware integration, when compared to the same app on iOS or Android. Since Microsoft now owns Skype, it is no wonder that they will make it work its best on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Phones that support the app right now include the illustrious HTC Windows Phone 8X and the Lumia 820 and 920 models from Nokia. Samsung’s Ativ S will also be able to run this app.

Even though the app is a standalone one by design, it has access to certain features on Windows Phone 8 that it does not have elsewhere. For example, it has direct access to the People Hub where all the user’s contacts are stored. The Skype app is also an “always on” app that runs a light version of itself in the background to monitor incoming calls, texts and updates. It can also show notifications on the lock screen.

Skype now available for Windows Phone 8

Turning Skype into a Live Tile will allow you to see your video call and message counts on your Start Screen and if taking the Live Tile up to its maximum size will allow you to see your last received message even. Additionally, Skype will also be able to pull all your Windows Live Messenger contacts if you are using Live ID to log in. This is important because Windows Live Messenger is now on a slow road to its grave. It will be gradually phased out and Skype will be replacing it across all platforms as the instant messenger from Microsoft.

You will also be able to add contacts to Skype from other platforms and there’s the standard Favorites feature that gives you quick access to everything all your frequently used contacts.

MSFT: Skype Should Not Affect Battery Life

Skype’s high requirement for system memory and its ‘always on’ feature does cause us to think about how it will impact the battery life of the device. Microsoft has not forwarded any details on how the app affects battery life. As a brand new app, there’s no user experience information available on the market yet.

Skype’s takeover by Microsoft came a surprise to many and the money spent on acquiring it was also quite large. So it is evident that Microsoft is intent on using it in as many ways possible. Skype is the de facto VoIP on Windows 8 that has deep integration in to the system. It allows you to place calls and send messages via the charms bar from anywhere in the system.

Google Talk, ooVoo and other video conferecing services good alternatives?

Rival services are also gearing up for taking on Skype’s impending dominance on the world’s most used operating system. Services like ooVoo and Google talk are already offering free video conferencing services to counter Skype’s popularity. But now that even Facebook is depending on Skype to bring video calling to its users, it will be very difficult to stop Skype from becoming the go-to app for all kinds of video calling. However, Skype’s trump card remains in its ability to provide world-class video calling along with calling actual phone numbers as well as receive calls from actual phones. Even though there are such services everywhere, Skype seems to have gotten the combination of features and looks just right to gain lot of users. And now that Microsoft is pushing it alongside Windows, it will be even more popular.

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Published: Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 Last Modified: November 13, 2012

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