SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft launched Skype for Outlook.com in six countries on Monday, including the UK and US.
In April Microsoft announced that it had begun rolling out a preview of Skype's Outlook.com integration, and this week it said that the integration has started rolling out to all Outlook users in the UK, US, Germany, France, Canada and Brazil.
Once it is available, Skype integration in Outlook.com enables users of the webmail service to make a video or voice call straight from an email. Once in a message, users can simply hover over a friend's picture and click on the Skype audio or video call buttons.
Microsoft said in a blog post, "Email is an important and personal tool for most people, but there are moments when you want to be able to speak live or chat face to face.
"In a recent Ipsos Public Affairs poll 76 [percent] of people say that their email conversations frequently or occasionally result in a follow up phone or video call, or other means of communication. Those moments are perfect for Skype and now, face to face connection right from your inbox is just a click away."
Microsoft's announcement comes at a shaky time for Outlook.com, with the service having seen a three-day blackout over the weekend. Microsoft apologised for the outage on Monday, and explained that the downtime followed a failure in a caching service, due to Exchange Activesync.
Microsoft said, "The failure caused these devices to receive an error and continuously try to connect to our service. This resulted in a flood of traffic that our services did not handle properly, with the effect that some customers were unable to access their Outlook.com email and unable to share their Skydrive files via email."
Microsoft said Skype integration in Outlook.com will be available worldwide in the "near future". µ
Lock up your everything
Rumour has it the firm's contracts with operators is coming under government scrutiny
Available later this year from $189
Firm admits 'write once, run anywhere' strategy wasn't all that practical