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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

August 10, 2011 at 7:01 AM

What are Skype’s future plans at Microsoft?

Ballmer_Bates.jpg“An app that doesn’t feel like an app” but a natural part of Windows Phone is part of what Skype is envisioning for its future as part of Microsoft.

Neil Stevens, Skype’s vice president and general manager of products and marketing, outlined some of the thinking about Skype’s future plans in an interview with Elizabeth Woyke, who writes Forbes’ Mobilized blog.

In addition to a mobile version of Skype for Windows Phones, Stevens also envisions deep integration with Microsoft’s Xbox, its Lync unified communications software and upcoming Windows 8 devices, according to Woyke.

Microsoft announced its purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion in May. The deal was cleared by the U.S. Justice Department in June, and is now awaiting approval from the European Union before it is finalized.

Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft’s Business division, said back in June that Office 365 will be the first place Skype will be added to a Microsoft product when Microsoft closes its purchase of Skype. Office 365, of which Lync is a part, is Microsoft’s new cloud service for email, collaboration, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and unified communication.

In the Mobilized blog interview, Stevens also talked about Skype’s partnership with Facebook. The two companies announced an online video-chat service in July. Skype also plans to add the ability to make calls to and from landlines and cellphones between Facebook and Skype, Stevens said.

(Photograph from Microsoft of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Skype CEO Tony Bates announcing Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype in May.)

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