The future of Skype has landed on Microsoft’s latest pre-release version of Windows 8.1 and is giving us a look at how deeply the communication app will be tied into the future of the company. The official Skype Blog has published screenshots and details pertaining to the new version of Skype and its built-in integration.

Screenshots show Skype calls being pushed directly to a user’s lock screen and presenting the options to answer the call via voice or video, respond with an instant message or completely ignore the call.

Skype now also has direct integration in Microsoft’s SkyDrive and can seamlessly pull files and photos directly into your video call. Browsing IE and want to share a webpage with a friend? Easily right click the page and select “Skype” to have an instant conversation with a contact of your choosing.

Windows 8.1 had introduced the concept of email links opening in a side window as to not completely knock you out of your Mail application; now that ability has come to Skype. If your friends sends you a link, clicking it will divide your screen in two and display the webpage in a new window, so you can continue chatting in the other.

The aforementioned version of Skype will be available this autumn when Microsoft officially launches the Windows 8.1 update. If you are a subscriber of MSDN, you can download and experience it now within the Windows 8.1 RTM edition.

Do you use Skype – are you looking forward to the improvements in Windows 8.1?

Source: Skype Blog