Interactive Skype Bots arrive on Windows desktop with latest update

The interactive Skype Bots that Microsoft first demoed in its Build 2016 are now available to try in the Skype desktop app. The preview versions of the bots, which are meant as a test to solicit feedback, will be accessible once users update to version of the Skype desktop app (via WinSuperSite).

Once downloaded, you can add bots to your contact list by clicking the "Add bots…" button near the top of the Skype window. From there, you can pick from a number of preview bots, as seen in the screenshots below.

Once added, you can start a conversation with your chosen bot, which will first outline some basic phrases to try out.

It should be noted that we didn't receive the update automatically on our end. Rather, the update only came down after force-checking twice within the app — so you may have to initiate the check multiple times to start the download.

In any case, be sure to check out the bots and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Update: As noted by Microsoft (opens in new tab), the preview bots are only currently available in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I have that version and the button doesn't show up. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • I downloaded and installed today version No bots button.
  • Did you try to slide the vertical bar a bit to the right. The one besides the home call new buttons? Posted from my Windows 10 desktop computer for Windows Central!
  • Yes, I did. It doesn't show up. It must be some kind of region/country restriction. Since this is a preview, the availability is probably limited right now.
  • It was the same for me too. I increased the width of the skype window, and bam! it's there :D Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Thanks, I already checked that out. It turns out is regional limited.
  • nice now I have 1 friend on skype. Iam a happy person.
  • Don't stop there.  I see 5 bots available.  Thats 4 more friends for you!
  • Needs to be a "Talk dirty to me" bot. Posted from Windows Central App for Windows 10
  • Go to Groove and download Poison's "Talk dirty to me." Problem solved.
  • One more use for my Groove music pass! ;-)
  • How much does the music pass cost you there?
  • I have version and no button
  • I'd love to make a bot but I have too many projects going already (plus school), but if someone has a really great idea for a bot, shout at someone with the "Developer" title. We know how to do cool stuff but we don't always come up with cool ideas right away. Sent from my Toaster Oven (Lumia Icon)
  • Can you shed some light on what projects you are working on...? Just curious. ;)
  • Sure - I'm working on a game in Unity 3D, a game for the Band, and an achievement tracking app for Scouting. Too much all at once ;) Sent from my Toaster Oven (Lumia Icon)
  • Can confirm, without good ideas us developers are like wizards without a spellbook. Sometimes we come up with cool stuff on our own, but for the most part we just cause trouble lol
  • Cool! I tried to get into the Xbox Preview Program, but was passed over. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Grr, new WC app, this is the wrong article xD!!! Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Hahahaha. Happens. :D
  • I don't understand the point of this.
  • Well, it was like all they talked about at build Posted from Crappy Old Laptop
  • It's something they presented at today's Build conference. They want companies to create bots to help customers. For example, Cortana could read from your messages that you are going to New York for the weekend, it would then ask you if you need a hotel room, and give you suggestions. Once you've selected the hotel you want it would transfer you to the hotel's bot to make reservations. It would also be done in a way that if you ask something that the bot doesn't understand you are automatically transfered to a real person to complete the process.
  • The problem is when bots start to talk to each others about humans...
  • Botnet lol
  • That makes more sense.
  • This is an interesting concept.  I could see applications in customer service so that customers could "chat" with a bot that is capable of routing conversations or finding a solution.  I could also imagine a bot-concierge capable of making travel arrangements or finding events. 
  • I have the bot, after update, it's cool! :) Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • I tried to add 2 of the bots but they just show up as a unique ID rather than their name in the left hand bar (under recent) and the option to send a message is disabled at the moment. Hopefully it starts working at some point. Once you add the bot (I assume they are supposed to show as a normal contact) can you then chat to them from mobile versions of Skype?
  • Hola! India in the list? Am i seeing it correct? They ultimately relised the market here and considerd it to keep it in the first list.
  • Ikr
  • Ooh, definitely downloading this.
  • I thought it was a UWP app. Was hoping to test it on mobile.
  • UWP skype app is coming :)
  • It looked good in the short demo during the keynote
  • I tested all of them out. I wish the news bot listed news as text instead of converting it into a preview image.
  •     Did you have to do anything special to send them a message? I can find them and add them as a contact but can't type any text to message them. This is is on Windows 10 and iOS      
  • I just added them to my contacts and sent a message. I did not do anything special.
  • Thanks. It works for Bing music and Getty images but not Bing images or Bing news. 
  • I hate the obscure ways Msft filters out regions. I have got my machine on USA region, but no bot button.
  • I don't think Skype will recognise your machine's region. I think you need to change the region in your Skype account settings. This is after all the desktop app and not the universal app.
  • Thanks, could be. I am not going to mess with that as it is a billing account.
  • How do I update to the newest version of Skype?  I'm on RTM W10.
  • On the menue toolbar in your skype application, go to help>check for updates>it should check for latest updates Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Thumbs up for markets outside US Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Does they support Hitler? :D
  • I'm more interested to see what 'Bing Music' is... like, are they rebranding what was Zune Music, what was Xbox Music, and what could've been Groove Music? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Zune Music was rebranded to Xbox Music which was rebranded to Groove Music. Bing Music is a search engine to do more searchy things with music (lyrics, artist info, videos, etc.) as opposed to Groove Music which is for playing and organizing music.
  • If bots are in contacts, surely they should appear on mobile as well. Edit: Contact request sent. Interesting. Edit 2: Don't work in uk
  • Agreed, not working in UK
  • Added them all, and still not in contact list. Maybe only works on week old pcs, like windows 10 does with mobiles.
  • Wen in Germany? ;)
  • What value is a Skype bot?  Seriously.
  • Cooool...
  • Taking on Slack! Going great!
  • I prefer interacting with humans.   I have already enough machines around the whole day. Maybe Skype has hit their ceiling and cannot figure out how to further simplify communication between humans which are distant from each another, so they thought to better add bots. Wasn't Cortana thought for this kind of things, anyway?
  • If talking to a bot gets what I want faster and easier, then I think bots are better. I see no reason to involve humans if they're not needed. Plus, why simplify communication. Talking back and forth is about as simple as you can get. This adds value to the communication. You can get things done while communicating.
  • - Updated to the latest version (7.22.) even the "hololens plugin" option is showing up - Both computer and Skype account settings set to U.S. region (cortana works etc.) - Restarted the pc couple times No bot features showing up, any advice from the more knowledgable on the topic?
  • News articles dont need updates. they need research more then 30 secounds. on paul thurrott's website....   sad sad sad.. news articles are just copied........    OH by the way. You can add the skype bing bot TODAY!!!  You can also play the image bot TODAY on SKYPE!   Check out the website BOT... I am sure many around the world can try it..
  • i miss read your article. as the update came acros to my skype after i had added the bots directly from that website i listed.
  • Is it me, or Daniel really looking like Kylo Ren in his skype profile pic.?
  • Just saying but it's it available in the UK or just England... Seems odd to me as I live in Scotland :|
  • I'm in England and days bot not in chat, still not added after 14 hours.
  • same **** by Microsoft: not available everywhere
  • No love for the scots or welsh? That'll serve them right...
  • Philippines not included.
  • try adding them directly from here
  • Hihi. bringing some touted Bot to almost all platforms doesn't seem to interest anyone.... 55 comments so far. The statement from Terry Myerson regarding non-focus of W10Mobile provokes 550 comments so far. Maybe MS has to rethink what people really would like.
  • the audience here is a biased sample set. we're not the only audience for Microsoft.
  • Skype ratings for Mobile aren't too good either though.
  • I'm failing to see what you're trying to address here. We know there is a universal Skype app in the works, so... what are you saying?
  • @2tomtom, Skype is pretty subpar on phones right now. The demo they showed at build gives me hope that we will finally get a decent app. I hope they add multiple account support as it is a UWA and if it ties into the messaging hub therefore using the MSA attached to the phone. The latter would be useless for people who use a different skype username / msa for skype.
  • @FirstWatt, the problem is Microsoft has retrenched from mobile and have left the space open for OEMs which many don't realise.
    After all Nokia formerly dominated the entire WP market then later Microsoft with the D&S acquisition. Which OEM would want to compete with the OS maker who already holds 90%+ of the market?
    This is why Surface was in limited markets to begin with and later extended.
    Plus the lack of mind share emphasis to many indicates they aren't supporting WM10. Which is far from the truth as they are constantly pushing out new builds for phones (granted that pool has been shrunk drastically).
  • I've tried it out. I mean, it's ok, but what's the difference between this and just adding a search bar into Skype?
  • the different bots have different focus and they're probably all being powered on the backend by Bing (just like Cortana is) and they're just trying to improve natural language understanding. By making them specific, they're able to improve their ability to understand what you're saying because there is already context (if you're using the Bing Music bot, the context is already music, so obviously you're not ordering a pizza). I think in the end, they'll want people to create bots of their own for their own businesses/apps/etc. these are really just samples that are also serving as testing for their A.I. APIs most likely.
  • @phil2415. Perception and Personification.
  • Skynet! Joking aside this would be interesting to see how companies utilize this. I just hope we don't start getting ad bots in skype chats.... As it will get really really messy.
  • why be so negative of the possibility of change. we are in an ever evolving world .. if you want to add a bot you have it. if not you dont. how is it messy if i decide not to use or and any?  if a comany creates a bot let them.
  • Want this on Skype for Mac!!
  • try adding them directly from here  
  • Cool, so NZ gets skype bots but still no Cortana?
  • What about some actually cool bots for skype? I remember i came across this bot store and found only 5, perhaps anyone could suggest other places?