Back in January, some of us were able to see Microsoft's vision for integrating Skype into Windows 10 Mobile. At the time, we noted that the method was very reminiscent of how Windows Phone 7 worked with Facebook messaging. Microsoft in effect is looking to merge seamlessly Skype messaging into the regular SMS app for a unified experience. Users can still use the standalone app, but most will want the lighter Messaging for quick communication.
Now, the site OneTile.ru has managed to get their hands on an early preview of Skype, Messaging and Video. The app is still premature as it is meant only for debugging and development purposes and not for regular usage. Having said that the system app is expected for this fall for both Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 PC. Here is what we know so far:
- Skype, Messaging and Video will be an app through the store like Mail and Calendar
- Users can send SMS, MMS, and Skype messages all within the same app
- You can initiate a Skype or voice call through the contact in Messaging
- Users can transfer a file, their location or send a contact
- The app ties into other parts of the OS, including the dialer and People hub letting users seamlessly call and message through SMS and Skype (if the contact is on Skype, of course)
Of course, none of this is new if you read our early hands-on report back in January. Indeed, Microsoft confirmed to us that VOIP apps can all do the same thing. Moreover, since this is going to be a Store app, Microsoft and rapidly add, fix or improve the app-messaging-Skype experience at any time. Back in January, we noted:
"Finally, Skype also has actionable notifications. This feature means when a message comes in you can respond to it in the Toast notification directly. Likewise, in the Messaging app, Skype chats will be in the Skype Blue color to differentiate from SMS messages. Users can just dynamically switch between SMS and Skype Messaging at will."
The good news here is unlike in January, this is evidently a real, working version and not just a planned design. This leak means Microsoft is likely only a few months out from finally releasing this combination probably in time for the release of Windows 10 Mobile. The promise of reducing much of the Skype experience to that of WhatsApp or simple SMS bodes well for the VOIP service in 2015 as that is exactly what it needs to succeed.
Source: OneTile.ru; Thanks, Denis, for the tip!