Microsoft's 'Skype, Messaging and Video' app for Windows 10 Mobile gets an early look in a new leak

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.

Skype is built into Windows 10 for Phone and has an updatable Messaging app

Now, the site 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:; Thanks, Denis, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • First! This is one feature I have been waiting for.
    Let the SMS Battles begin:
    Skype v. Hangouts v. iMessage
  • In what country is this battle occuring?
  • Coming Soon™ in a country near you
  • USA. In Canada it would be BBM vs. Skype vs. Hangout
  • Uhmm no?.... A lot of people use iPhoes, not blackberry nor bbm as a matter of fact. It's way too "old" for people now, even if it gets updates
  • Hey, let the Canadians have their thing. BBM is a great service. Canada is a great tech-producing nation.
  • this will be a great feature to have but they need to make Skype use your phone number to sign one up, that's how WhatsApp became popular in the first place. If they can find away of making one find their friends just by adding their number then Skype would surely take over WhatsApp in the long run because you won't need to switch apps but a simply swipe to the left or right to find ones friend :-)
  • Absolutely! It needs to be totally integrated and front and center. Also I wish they would ditch that UI. Just gives me PTSD.
  • I love the black dark theme.
  • Believe me or not that's the main reason why mobile operators are trying to ban Whatsapp in Brazil. Here's an excerpt from the article found here, poorly translated by me:  =D
    The idea is to question the fact that the product offer is based on the user' mobile phone number and not through an specific login as happen with other voice conversation softwares, like Skype, from Microsoft.
  • they want to ban the call function as they say it uses the phone number... Yet those dumb f"#ks didn't do the same for SMS they were making a killing before IMs came along and now no one uses SMS at least I haven't in years and the software works the same way it connects two contacts through the phone number.
  • Wazap _became_ popular, but skype doesnt need that, it is already quite popular for long. Not sure they should mess with signing up options, may confuse newcomers. And besides, remember endless threads about accounting issues when MS just implemented dual signup? I mean, dont touch while it works.
  • Skype will take over WhatsApp in long run-never going to happen
  • Nobody i know uses skype anymore. They have hangouts and imessage (or whatsapp for cross platform communication). In order for skype to be popular, it has to be the most convenient communication method for a large number of people. Microsoft is taking good steps in this direction by making the phone companion work with iOS and Android. Hopefully as everyone starts to migrade to windows 10, they will also install skype and start using it more.
  • BBM showed growth this year.
  • Let's convince Blackberry to make phones running Windows 10 Mobile instead of Android   It would benefit businesses and both companies (Microsoft and RIM/ Blackberry)  
  • Perhaps a year into it that would be good. W10M needs much improvement yet.
  • I agree, been waiting forever for this.
  • What about the Xbox message intergration we saw some time ago?
  • Is that a Vizio phone or is it being displayed on a TV? Never heard that Vizio is planning to get into WP - their laptops sure looked super cool
  • That is just a monitor.
  • I'm pretty sure it's a vizio phone. Lol. XD
  • Nope, it's just a normal TV that shows the emulator.
  • Lol
  • But how will we differentiate which ine id an actual sms, and which one is from skype? Cause I dont want to click on every new message just to see which one is which.
  • Color. Skype will be blue.
  • Will this be an equivlent to imessage? Seems likes it, which is great!
  • So thankful it's not an all white background.  Skype can be blinding.
  • Agreed
  • Looks fantastic , Hope they will also improve the quality of Skype dp  Because even small teams like Whatsapp , Viber , Telegram apps : in their app - when we set Dp ( it setted in high quality )   But experienced Software giant Microsoft skype doesn't - we have to do lot of feedback , then people vote then they think 
  • Fb or whatsapp or twitter integration with messaging please.. :/
  • Companies need to open their APIs and allow Microsoft do to that. There is no evidence they will as it does not benefit them in any way whatsoever. Companies want you within their app so that they can sell their own experience across platforms. And also to serve ads and collect user data. Although it would be nice, I don't believe it will happen. This is the very reason why we do not have FB messaging anymore. It did not benefit Facebook, so why should they cooperate?
  • Good points and a much better explanation than the "we removed integration so that we can update faster" bs that Microsoft led with.
    Now here's an idea. What if they provided a way for a third party messaging app to collect the same data when the api of that app was accessed within the integrated scenario. And what if they facilitated a way to serve advertising for these apps in that scenario. Would be win/win.
  • "Now here's an idea. What if they provided a way for a third party messaging app to collect the same data when the api of that app was accessed within the integrated scenario. "
    The company would need to put that in their API and it is not clear this is a trivial thing to do. Also, there is still no benefit for WhatsApp/FB to do this. What's in it for them? Nothing. At the very most Microsoft can only offer them a fragmented app experience. You cannot re-create WhatsApp or FB messaging in its entirety within Microsoft's Messaging app.
  • I just want Whatsapp to integrate in the People app just like Telegram already do. Just it. Is this asking too much? Android has it since ages ago.
  • Umm...I don't think that'll work, either. Companies want complete control over their services.
  • "very reminiscent of how Windows Phone 7 worked with Facebook messaging." My only complaint with this is that I thought that Facebook messaging was a little TOO integrated with the messaging app, as there were many times i forgot to check the small header and sent a Facebook message over text or vice versa. Hopefully they make it a pivot style, where you can swipe between messaging and skype, instead of switching between each one with a button.
  • I really hope nobody at MS sees your comment. That would be horrifying. 
  • I think you make a good point. It gives a good overview of messages for you, but the other person gest messages from you via different platforms and that's really confusing.
  • This leak means Microsoft is likely only a few months out from finally releasing [...] but W10 mobile will see it's offical release in October? Sad they will not put this in the first offical build
  • Not sure how your numbering system works, but October is still technically "a few months away".
  • We will have this experience soon in our hands, as I have previously stated. :)
  • but the RTM will be ready till mid September. This is only 2-3 weeks away
  • There is no guarantee of that.
  • So we can send SMS on PC?
  • yes , you can it's universal - the power of Microsoft + actionable notification reply ( sound's cool 
  • That's what we're hoping for but it's not necessary that is going to be launch
  • Well he doesnst really know but this is what everyone is hoping for
  • I've been waiting on that since my old Sony-erricson flip phone which could do that. Been jealous of my partner who can do that with his apple products for a while.
  • This is what I've been waiting for! I spend a lot of time at my desk and would prefer looking at one screen rather than a screen and phone. WhatsApp web has confirmed how nice and convenient this feature is. I just hope hope hope we can do SMS on my PC.
  • I hope so, but no offical word that this is happened for real yet
  • No, that hasn't been announced. And sending SMS from PC would require working with the phone somehow, which would mean a different PC app would be needed.
  • Now also do this with facebook messenger and whatsapp
  • Whatsapp will bringing soon , as they updating our beta very fast on regular interval with new features
  • But who said that it will integrate into people app!!!!any source
  • Pretty much everything in Windows 10 is API-open. All you need is to include Windows Mobile Extentions into your project. With this you can tap into Contacts, Dialer, Phone line, and Voicemail. You can completly replace the existing phone commucation functionality for your own. So WhatsApp and everyone else can do better now.
  • They wont.. Look at dan's reply above
  • It is better if any messaging app can take advantage of such feature.
  • Can't come soon enough...............Skype on a tablet is basically a broken experience at the moment.  
  • Dan do you know if we'll definitely be able to send and receive SMS/MMS also from our PC with the universal messaging app?
  • Yeah, I am also curious about this. Can I send an SMS through Skype messaging if I don't have cell service on my phone but have Wi-Fi.
  • That wasn't my question really. I'm talking about sending SMS from the PC, even if that means the phone needs to be connected to the PC via Bluetooth that's fine and understandable. Heck even if I have to connect it via USB I'd still be delighted!
  • 100% agree
  • The best solution would be to connect your phone number to a PC which would contain your credit status and then send SMS/MMS texts with no need to connect phone via Bluetooth or cable to PC. But it's hard work to do, or maybe not..who knows.
  • Technicly, if the same universal application is running on the phone and the PC, and if both devices (or just programs) are using the same M$ account, these two instances should comunicate throught the cloud. In that case, PC can use phone as a proxy for receiving and sending SMSs. Skype probably is already able to send SMS, but you need credits for that. Just like you need credits to send SMS from your phone. 
  • Oh god, agree 200% ;-) too! Sitting at a desk PC and having to type SMS via the small phone keyboard at the present state of technology is almost like sending a hand-written letter!!!
  • The skype app will be a universal app and something you can download to your PC, tablet and phone. They'll all be able to do the same functions, like texting to phone or Skype, video calling; SMS, etc. So, yes and no, no other connections needed, except a Microsoft account.
  • Software still need hardware to work. If your PC has cellular connection then yes. Otherwise, it has to use your phone.
  • Let's hope this really improves the Skype experience. I really wanted to like Skype, but the constant drop outs, pixelated images (even on wi-fi) is just ridiculous.  I switched to ooVoo for now.  At least it works.
  • WHEN ON ANDROID? Posted via the WC App for Galaxy S6
  • when it will reach at next step , then like cortana and bing - they will bring soon after that 
  • Well, don't know but as its most likely before the Windows version, you should be happy. ;)
  • If they knew that they would say. Why all the caps and so demanding???
  • Why would Microsoft release an SMS app for Android?  
  • As long as SMS continuity between desktop and phone happens, I'll be happy. I have this bad feeling that it's not happening anytime soon, and we're just getting our hopes up. Usually if Microsoft is going to release something huge like that, they brag about it for months. This has had nary a mention other than a universal messaging app is coming to Windows 10.  Makes me think that Microsoft is hinting at SMS continuity, but that it's not really coming.
  • That is all I really want too! They better hold up the promise of a preview version before the end of summer
  • Wait, is there currently any app that you can respond through Toast notification on Windows 10 Mobile? Or that feature is still not available for Windows 10 Mobile. I don't have Windows 10 on my phone so I don't know.
  • you can reply to Message ( inbuilt only ) , but soon other developers also looking to take the advantage of this feature    It's available in Windows 10 build 
  • Yup, you can do this through the messaging app. You hit the down arrow next to either the banner or the entry in the notification center and get a text entry box. Works great for short replies.
  • is there any character limitaiton when you reply that way?
  • Yes. I don't know the character limit but I typed a long message and then I couldn't type anymore. I had to exit and going to the full messaging app and retype my long message.
  • oh sad, but can't you just copy the text from toastnotificaiton and paste it in the msg app instead of retyping? isn't the copy & paste possible there?
  • Lol, had to retype it all? Man.. MS better fix that.
  • 120 characters
  • Would be super cool if we got a preview app!
  • yes , you will get 
  • Make it sync with desktop as a universal app (including SMS on the desktop) and they will really have something!
  • Now my girl can't brag about iMessage anymore. Nice.
  • They said we would have a preview version of the new skype by the end of summer. Time is ticking lol
  • Really hope to see the huge improve from Ms but it really takes too much time for stable version.
  • Nokia Lumia concept totally gone, connect with FB messager is one of the nice moves previously. Also look forward to the wp keyboards improvement.
  • Fb stopped this as they couldn't make any profit out of that service.
  • hope notifications will be fixed because right now most of the time they never work correctly
  • So will they allow other messaging apps to integrate as well? Or is this ONLY for Skype? It'd be nice if at least groupme could integrate as well. It's a MSFT product after all.
  • GroupMe integration would be phenomenal! That app is the biggest piece of crap, but I can't get my wife's family to give it up. This might make it tolerable at least...
  • But what if my theme-color IS blue, then it will look the same!!!
  • I was thinking the same. How do we know if it is Skype or not?!
  • Could be a different shade of blue
  • Hopefully this will be successful outside the US because no one uses Skype in the US. Not for messaging other ppl in the US.
  • I know I don't. I've never used Skype to message ppl. I have used it to message people, though, and do so quite regularly.
  • Finally!!! We really need integrated and unified messaging experience again in Windows Phone/Mobile. I hope that there will be 3rd-party integration too which is useful for other messaging apps like Facebook, Whatsapp, Line, KakaoTalk, and many others. Its kind of sad though that W10M now brings back the black statusbar at the top. That reminds me of old Android Gingerbread, ICS and old iOS looks, makes it really outdated looking. Windows Phone extends the UI at the statusbar to the point that dev can optionally hides it. In W10M, they now looks like it came from 2008. I wished also that the Skype calling screen is still animated and they need to make the user photo hi-res and big really.
  • Great.looking forward to using skype in a new way. And I am so excited about inline reply from toas tnotification. Hope all messaging apps and mail app use that.
  • So does this mean that we will be able to send regular SMS, not Skype messages, from our Surfaces?
  • I just hope it's performance is better than the one on WP8.1... sometimes it is horribly slow and takes a long time to load the new messages x(
  • Wasn't this coming out this summer?
  • Yes, but it got delayed...
  • All I wanna know is, can we just use Skype like facetime? Like someone said earlier, just linking a phone number instead of email then it'd be easier to start a call thru video
  • I hope we can choose which account to use for integrated skype and not be restricted to only the main phone ms account.
  • Before doing all of this , fix the skype app , needs alot of work -_-
  • But this new Skype app will still need a Microsoft account instead of simple registration of the mobile number? Thats the only secret of the success of whatsapp.
  • Exactly.
  • Yet if you have a Windows Phone then chances are that you already have a Microsoft account anyway
  • Can it send videos like message?
  • Looks cool :)
  • They should at least monitor the frequency of usage.. My usage of FB goes down directly proportionally to how easily I could access it on my Me title or the People app. I can't be the only one.
  • I definitely don't use fb nearly as much anymore since the removal of it into a separate app.
  • I'm with you two. I rarely use fb now that app is lame. On wp7 it was so easy to post things.
  • When on DOS?!?
  • When on Chromebook?!? ;D
  • Omg m going to download win 10 right away!!
  • God I hate the people app with that fullscreen background accent color. Especially since my accent color is yellow.
  • hope they release a lighter version on android and ios same like whatsapp
  • I just hope it is not confusing to use for the general masses.... I see a lot of people finds it too hard to use WindowsPhone....
  • What Apple is doing on ios still seems much better, especially with the small but important things such as attaching multiple photos and a details pane of the conversation letting you effortlessly look at photos from the entire convo, not just the message.
  • Will there be two separate apps? One "Messaging App", and another "Skype, Messaging and Video App"? If yes, I don't think it is really that big of a deal and a lot of people will just ingore it. If, instead, they are integrating Skype INTO the Messaging App, then this is useful and can help make Skype more relevant again. Ideally, they would let other apps integrate into the Messaging App too, but I gather that would never happen.
  • I believe Skype is being integrated into the Messaging app, very similar to how iMessage works on iOS, where one can seamlessly switch between iMessage and SMS at will.
  • Let's hope so.. and that they downplay Skype name/branding in it. Something like "Messaging App (Powered by Skype)" or "Messaging (with skype)" rather than Skype Messaging.
  • So basically Windows 10's version of iMessage? Sweet, about damn time!
  • If they could minimize its (Skype) massive battery drain on the phones, that would be greatly appreciated!
  • Best calling architecture ever was on Maemo on Nokia N900 - there's a call app, you choose which carrier to use (phone, Skype, VOIP, other) and who to call (phone #, Skype ID etc). Essentially an open architecture developers can plug in carrier extensions into. Same with the messaging app. So I LOVE that MS is moving in that direction.
  • A separate contacts lists, there goes my chickens! Aaah, Windows 10 for Phones talk of tongue twister that may live for some time.
  • Will there be any way to change that font type? Yuck, I hate it.
  • I'm counting the days till I can get rid of skype's white themed apps for good
  • I am a bit worried about the app performance looking at the current Skype apps for wp.
  • My biggest wish for skype was that it would be a google voice competitor. Give us a free phone number  free texting, voice mail and the same kind of call forwarding features that gv has.
  • The facebook messaging in wp7 was great for me. But I remember reading that they took it out to better provide updates. Now there merging skype messaging in? I get Skype is there's and facebook wasn't but how will this merger benefit any better?
  • Skype needs 3 things immediately - 1. Add Phone numbers as aliases (like WhatsApp and snapchat) 2. Unified experience like this app seems to suggest. 3. Ability to send SMS from Windows 10 desktop. Skype Dev team needs to stop wasting time on things like real-time translations and prioritize the 3 basic things above.
  • Exactly. Skype has really fallen behind since taken over by Microsoft.
  • This was my favorite feature in wp7 and fbchat was integrated as well.
  • I still don't quite understand why Microsoft's plan wasn't a unified hub for Messaging, Phone, People, and Skype in the first place. Even better, that hub would be perfect to appear on the left of the Start Screen, so that a single swipe would bring you to the integral phone part of your smartphone.
    Yet another thought, why ​not add support for developers so they could integrate their own messaging apps into this hub too? WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, all in the same place. It would be marvelous. There would still be separate applications for people who wouldn't want nor need all the features of this hub, and it could be disabled in Settings. But for those of us who would use would be a killer feature.  
  • still not enough, Android version able to use speaker mode during calls. please the same features as on Skype for Android
  • If it supports two skype accounts working side by side, I will be golden :-D I will integrate both my personal and official skype in single phone rather than signing in and out every time :-)
  •    So, basically, this is going to be like imessage, which is what everyone was expecting with WP8.1. About damn time.