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Soon you'll be able to login to Microsoft services using your Skype name

There have been a lot of shifts with the Microsoft-owned Skype team recently with the long-term goal of bringing development of the VOIP service closer to Windows 10. One of those changes is being announced by Microsoft today, and it has to do with the sign-in process.

Currently, you can sign into Skype using your original Skype name or your Microsoft Account. Going forward you will be able to do the reverse: sign into other Microsoft services (OneDrive, Xbox Live, etc.) with your Skype name. From the Skype Blog (opens in new tab):

You may have recently noticed a few changes in the look and feel of your Skype account. We've been working to bring Skype and Microsoft closer together and are excited to announce that soon you will be able to use your Skype Name to sign into other Microsoft services like Xbox, Office and OneDrive. With a single sign-in (and an email address for certain services) you will soon be able to have fun on Xbox Live, access your photos and docs through OneDrive, check your email on Outlook.com, and connect with your friends and family on Skype.If you have noticed some changes to the Skype sign-in screen, password change and account recovery flow, that's because these are now managed by Microsoft. None of these changes will affect your ability to use Skype - as usual; you can still sign in using your Skype Name.

This shift is a nice streamlining effort that will likely benefit Skype users who are currently not deep into other Microsoft services. One of the biggest obstacles in getting people to switch to services is the barrier to entry including signups and logins. By letting Skype users sign into Microsoft services with no barrier, it should make it much easier to do more in Windows 10.

Skype always was the outlier in the Microsoft Services world regarding accounts. With this single sign-in to access all Microsoft services, Skype user accounts are now only different on the surface.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

68 Comments
  • They need to sort out the syncing bug. 4 devices on same account and everyone has different contacts and messages etc
  • But when will Skype and MSA be merged? My contact list is a mess with duplicate entries for most people. It's the #1 thing that need to be fixed. Go with one or the other, this dual account thing is insane.
  • I have noticed the same thing, and you can hit link accounts and it will probably find the correct contacts to link, so why can't it do this automatically?
  • I have noticed that if you add their phone number to their profile within the skype preview, it seems to clear up the duplicates. Hope the syncing gets much better though.
  • I've also found that duplicates occur if you have more than one phone number as well
  • I 100% agree with this statement.
  • So annoying since day on of the linking/merging accounts feature.  I thought it was merged but you simply get logged in twice.  People never know which one to really message.  They should have merged from day 1
  • Exactly, and with these duplicated contacts when you receive a call on the phone you don't see a contact picture and there's no custom ringtone, which drives me crazy!
  • This feels like msft reassuring Skype is gonna stay for a long time!?
  • I wouldn't imagine Skype would be going anywhere anytime soon. I have to imagine all of their corporate contracts (News interviews and whatnot) make it worth keeping around.
  • Phone Number is a good option , I'm very old user of skype use my old account that was made on @gmail
  • I had skype account much before introduction of gmail.
  • I like some of the changes I've seen in Skype recently (account as mentioned in article, UWP app, web skype) and I hope they continue to integrate tightly into Microsoft services and products.  Always felt like Skype was the outlier, not just in terms of accounts, but Windows, too. Glad to see this changing, at least outwardly.
  • I wish they would elimitate the separate contact lists completely.
  • i agree... that was one of the best things about WLM... everything synced with everything.
  • I find this funny; when Microsoft first started merging into Skype, they required me to sign in with my MS account email, instead of my Skype name.  Now they are moving back the other direction?  Previously, Microsoft tried to integrate Skype chats into its messaging for phone, and then it reversed and tried having Skype manage its SMS chats.  Now this... Is Skype going to take over all of the Microsoft consumer products now? (I agree with everyone else on the contacts issue. I have so many split/duplicate contacts between my devices through Microsoft account and Skype account.)
  • I don't think you were required to sign into Skype using MSA, it was just preferred. I can still sign into desktop using my original Skype handle.
  • Hey Daniel, it's been years since Skype/MS moved me in that direction, so I'm fuzzy on the specifics of "preferred" versus "required."  But I do remember Skype complaining when I tried logging in with my Skype name, and it asked me to use my Microsoft email instead.  It's quite possible this was something I inadvertantly did to myself by letting it merge my accounts.
  • I remember at some point the Windows 8.1 Skype app required you to sign in with your MSA.
  • Windows 8 app requires you to have a MS account an d so do the ones on Windows 10, but the desktop app you can stiill use the old skype name. I did not think it would be long before MS tried to get people who refuses to sign up for an MS account into their eco system.  
  • Microsoft removed the ability to create your own skype profile now, or last i tried for new co-worker, it was not possible. it will be a Live:userid now
  • Hmm.. Could Microsoft Account be sunsetted? Azure AD for corporations and Skype account for lesser folks.
  • Pretty sure it's the opposite. Microsoft Account is your user info for Outlook; it would be weird to use your Skype handle for all things. I think this move is just to get Skype people into MS services who aren't already in them.
  • Hm I thought they already set a date for removing Skype usernames and had set a deadline. That could have changed though or I could be remembering incorrectly
  • Really? Do you have any reference to that? Would be amazing if true.
  • They may lose a lot of users if they did that, a lot of people uses Skype on tablets and phones and if they was forced to have an MS account  may push them to use something else. Skype is losing ground anyway, more compitition now.  
  • I see this as a simplified process to sign into Microsoft services. Having to enter the full email address in a mobile is slightly more difficult. I would also want Microsoft let me change my skype id.
  • I hate my skype name that was "assigned" to me from my outlook email. I would like to utilize my old skype name and merge it with my current outlook account. Sad that this can't be done currently from what I have found.
  • Can't you unlink the assigned skype account and link back the old one?
  • I don't know if it's good news. AFAIK, Skype login doesn't support 2FA. It's a major issue actually. I'd like to delete my Skype account, but then, I would lose all my (legacy) Skype contacts. My live account has 2FA activated but if someone wants to hack my Skype account, it's easier via Skype login. Ask Thomas Nigro, the VLC dev, his Skype account got hacked last year. So if it means the 2FA can be bypassed by this Skype login, that's baaaad news. Conversely, if it means this brings de facto 2FA to Skype login, that's great.
  • Excellent observation
  • Throwback HTC screen background!
  • Already available in India. :)
  • Nope
  • I was actually hoping they would get rid of Skype names all together, and just use single sign-on with Microsoft account (i.e. like WLM did).  Skype names are a big security risk IMO, that's why there's so many fake/spam Skype accounts still on the Skype network.  By making it MSA only, it would make it more legit.  Google did that with YouTube, and that didn't affect their users much, Skype would be the same IMO.
  • Yeah, I find this confusing. I added 2-factor authentication to my MSA, which is linked to my Skype account (which I had before MS bought Skype). So if the Skype account can now access my MSA stuff, does that mean that's effectively a weak-security backdoor to all of my Microsoft services?
  • why is Skype still on preview and I can't synchronize it with my people hub.
  • This is a stupid idea....the microsoft account to login to skype is one thing, and it makes sense. Skype ID to login to outlook, or onedrive, or office365.....no that makes no sense. cross login for these services using a skype ID is bad design.
  • they started pushing for microsoft account on skype and now they are pushing for skpe account :/ 
  • Here's hoping they soon let you *change* your Skype ID! (Perhaps with limits like max once per month, etc.)
  • I hate the Skype ID. I'm forced to use a username I no longer use for any other service, but for some stupid reason you cannot change it. I have money and contacts already in that account, and I'm not going to create a new account just because of their bad design. I hope they would get rid of the Skype username, and just use a microsoft account instead.
  • I hope I can block my Skype username as an option to sign into my Microsoft services. Much like I do with my Outlook.com alias
  • Having a Skype account and a way to login to Skype with the MSA login is a problem they'd do well to solve, rather than do this, IMHO.
  • Not sure what you mean, I can sign into Skype with my MSA credentials perfectly fine.
  • I have two ways to do it, that's what I mean.
  • I have a bogus Skype id that got stuck to my MS account since i was younger .. now i can`t get rid of it :( The only good thing about it is that is not called xxxmasterblasterxxx69 or something like that.
  • Does skype log in have the same security type as Microsoft accounts? It took MS a long time to get on the ball with account log in verification, people were stealing Xbox accounts like crazy (in fact I was hacked via just a simple brute force attack) just 5 years ago or so.
  • At least as of right now it does not. This seems like a security hole, unless they tighten Skype security first, or only enable it for Microsoft Accounts that have not opted in to the 2-factor authentication. Right now, to access a Microsoft Service using my MSA login on a new computer, I have to enter the code from my Authenticator app on my Windows Phone or get a special password for that app if it can't accept the authenticator key (e.g., for Outlook). If the Skype account can access these too w/o that, it's an instant reduction in security to all MS services.
  • What a bullshit idea. Get rid of skype names.
  • I agree.
  • No, people know my skype name, also why do I want a MS account? I have an email address, I have a online storage service, not that I use it much, I have an office suite on my computer. All i want to use is Skype, well I do nto really want to use that as it is a load of rubbish these days, but needs must.    
  • I'm now using my phone number, instead. And it's better
  • i have no interest in using One drive or any other os MS services, I use skype because people I know do and I have been using Skype for years and have a skype name. I have no intention of using it to logg into any other os Micrsoft services. Skype have gone downhjll anyway since Microsoft took it over, if i could I would get rid of it.    
  • so if you don`t use any MS services, what exactly are you doing here ?
  • I use Windows 8.1 and I use Skype because other people I know uses it, but as for the other services that a MS account offers I do not use as I do not have a MS account. I am also here to see what other mad Idea Micrsoft come out with
  • I think you need to make an appointment with a psychiatrist?
  • Just because i do not want an MS accouint and do nto want to use Ms services? Just because you may love Ms, I do not and for what they have done over the last couple of years with Windows 10,  have made me want to get away from MS, just a shame the software I use is not av ailable on Linux.  
  • That integration to windows 10 is taking a long time.
  • How about logging into Microsoft services using Hello?
  • Skype should let us create a nickname alias or change it, the same way outlook/hotmail does. It's frustrating not able to change that silly nickname you choose 15 years ago without losing everything
  •  I have no problem with this for those that wish to use all the Microsoft services, but I wish this was not done by default.   Suppose you don't want to use a specific service offered by Microsoft?  It would be more reasonable to have this as an "opt in" option rather than an "opt out" option as it stands currently (via having to uninstall if possible).  It is getting really old having to find a "hack" for your own computer in order to have the programs/apps that you actually use and want installed on your devices.   What ever happened to choice?  The ability to make my devices actually "my devices" by allowing users to design their devices to fit their productivity needs was one of the long time hallmarks of Microsoft. Newsflash Microsoft...stop insulting users' intelligence...we are perfectly capable of deciding which apps we wish to utilize, and we still remember how to sign up for them!  Perhaps if you spent more time and effort with marketing you wouldn't have to resort to such dire, strong-handed tactics to gain more clients and a larger market share.  
  • Get rid of Skype names and let all services connect with an MS account. Also new process of signing up for Skype be simple like WhatsApp, Viber.
    1.Download app
    2. Register using a phone #
    3. Receive a pin via sms
    4. Logged in and contact synched
    5. Ready to chat
  • so what about if the person who wants to use Skype on the computer do not have a smart phone or even a mobile phone at all? there still are people who don't have a mobile phone.   Whatsapp is a mobile phone app, while there are mobile phone versions of Skype, not eveyone uses it on a phone. also, i would not give Microsoft my number, one of the reason I refuse to use Whatsapp is because they ask for your mobile phone n umber and also I have no use for it.    
  • Daniel, this seems like a potential security hole/risk. Definitely agree it's nice to see these fully integrate, but I hope the security question has also been considered. If adding an old, possibly not-very-secure Skype account and password to a Microsoft account set up with 2-factor authentication, at least as described here, it sounds like this could allow anyone with or guessing the Skype password to gain access to the otherwise highly secure MSA. Could WindowsCentral check on this?
  • I don't like this at all.
  • All my Skype contacts know me by my skype name, not my Microsoft account name. The only way it would work is have my Skype name linked to Microsoft email, so my contacts would still see my Skype name, not the Microsoftt email name. I have contacts via LinkIn, that really don't know me personally, and don't need to be connected to them, via Skype, the ones that do know me, will know my Skype name.
  • Why? These people make such senseless decisions. What's the point of this? Better spend their time in something useful.
  • I would rather be able to use my gamertag