Skype introduces new bots from Expedia, UPS and more

Coinciding with a slew of AI-related announcements from Microsoft, the Skype team has announced some new bots are being added to the service from more high-profiles partners. In particular, new bots are coming or are already here from companies like UPS and StubHub, among others.

One of the more notable additions is a bot from Expedia. While not available to try just yet, the Expedia bot for Skype will let you quickly find and book hotel room, manage reservations, or confirm and cancel flights and hotels. Of course, the Expedia bot should be able to field any travel questions you have as well.

One bot that is available now (opens in new tab) is from UPS. The package carrier's bot will let you track packages and calculate shipping rates, as well as ask personalized questions. StubHub, too, is now a partner, allowing you to easily purchase tickets for concerts and more with its bot (opens in new tab).

Lastly, the Skype team says a new bot is on its way (though not yet available) from that will help teach users a new language.

Microsoft is betting big on the future of AI overall, and its clear that its bot initiatives are a large part of that. For much more on these Skype bots, be sure to check out the team's full blog post (opens in new tab). We'll bring you more news once the Expedia and Learningonline bots actually launch.

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

  • What I don't like about bots is that they reply fast any with many messages. They should slow them down :D
  • I'll continue to wait until the future
  • This is very interesting!
  • I still don't see any value in bots like these.
  • Go to a foreign town where you have slow internet and find a burger restaurant. Foursquare-Bot is your friend.
  • But does it fix disappearing sms conversations and duplicate chats with sms and skype contacts? they clearly have their priorities wrong. but this is not new for microsoft these years 
  • Cannot tell. Have hot used SMS since 2012.
  • Well it is important enough for the skype team to build integration into their app. so .. there is that... 
  • No. I use the Maps app.  If Microsoft hadn't been such a stupid company, they'd have paid the folks at HERE whatever money they wanted to keep their suite of apps on Windows so I could still use Local Scout and City Lens, which were the absolute BEST apps at all this.  I'm NOT going to ask stop "bot".  That's just ridiculous.
  • Seriously? You prefer having to find their website and crawl through forms and navigation, rather than just sending a Skype message and having it done in a heartbeat?
  • True, not as like the productive bots we see on slack
  • Is this desktop Skype or...
  • Should be on all devices.
  • Actually, many companies already use similar technologies to provide information, search options, etc. chat opportunities, etc. for customers. The casual Skype user may never have a need for this, but I could envision the UPS bot being summoned by someone in shipping to begin, follow and confirm the progress of shipments. Their end user site would allow the corresponding customer to communicate directly with the bot, getting updated information or communicating problems.
  • Oh, please.  I use the Package Tracker app and it, along with Cortana, keep me apprised of the status of anything I've  ordered.  Again, why would I waste my time with a bot?  I wouldn't.
  • I don't need or want this Bot thing - can I disable or delete it?
  • No, just don't use them.
  • I haven't quite seen how or why this is better than adding the functionality to Cortana. Cortana already has package tracking. Why not make it better or extensible instead of rewriting Skype and making it do something it wasn't designed for while ignoring what was actually designed specifically for the purpose.
  • No doubt once bots become more mature they will be integrated into Cortana. The reason they are targeting Skype is that skype is used for chat naturally and far far more people use it than Cortana I would guess.
  • Seriously?  Do you actually know a lot of people who use Skype?  I know exactly ZERO.  I FORCE myself to use it on my test Lumia 950 by making it the default SMS client (which it is HORRIBLE at) and there is no universe where I would find myself engaging a bot on Skype to do ANYTHING.
  • I think the plan is to ingegrate them more, so it does not matter if you use skype or cortana.
  • Exactly.  Adding bots to Skype or whatever is a waste.
  • Nice! I have been binging on Skype bots since they released Skype Preview. Love 'em!
  • Where's the new Zo?
  • I've used bots in the past. But could not find them interesting. Therse are good additions.
  • How long until we say shes a bot. Im no bot. Instead of puppet?
  • sometimes i wonder if i walk my world like a bot. i go to bed i wake up i go to work i go to bed i wake up i go to work :D