Light-years behind everyone else, Microsoft finally releases its’ new Skype app for Windows Phone 7.5. Finally, a decent app, which is not a beta, for instant messaging and video calls.
Skype 1.0 works with 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi, allowing voice over IP (VoIP) voice and video calls as well as text chat. There are some new features comparing to the beta version that was introduced a couple of months ago, but not anything drastic.
The design is, as expected, Metro style, with a clean white background and a pivot control.
The app doesn’t work in the background, something that indicates that it’s not yet a “native” part of Windows Phone (something that will probably be solved in future releases of Windows Phone). So for now, it’s just like any other IM app, except for the fact it’s Skype, the world’s biggest social platform.
Will it save Windows Phone?
8 months ago, I included Skype as one of the key features Microsoft should add in order to make Windows Phone successful. here’s what I wrote:
“Free calls, free messaging, voice-based SMS, location based walkie talkie, 3D video calls with special effects, I don't care. Just do something that will shock the world, and make all of those Skype users out there consider getting a Windows Phone device.
Skype integration should kick ass, but it also should include new features and integration with the productivity tools and apps. If Microsoft can only come up with a winning combination with a unified approach – people will look differently at Windows Phone.”
The Skype App is definitely not what I had in mind, but at least that’s a start.
Will it change the balance of power in the mobile market? I doubt it. But with Windows 8 around the corner, I would like to give Microsoft a chance to do it properly.
Here’s a video demonstration: