Skype for Windows Phone is out of beta and publicly available now

Skype for Windows Phone 7 is finally out of beta and publicly available in the Marketplace for everybody to download. This new V1.0 version now includes the ability to search and add contacts, call landlines, ,video calling in portrait mode, friend management capabilities including invite, accept invitations, block, unblock contacts and several other improvements on top of what was already possible in the beta. Only major downside is the fact that application still doesn’t support background notifications so user simply can’t receive a call unless the application is open (unlike all the other Skype version on other platforms or even Tango on Windows Phone) but Skype as already announced that “This is the first of many releases to come for Windows Phone, so stay tuned for even more capabilities in the future“. You can download the Skype app directly from the marketplace here or by simply scanning the tags after the break:

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Skype Beta app for Windows Phone 7 launched: Get it now!

It is finally here folks! Skype for Windows Phone 7 has now reached the marketplace in its beta form and can be downloaded for free as I’m typing this. The beta version will require that you have a handset running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango or up but has officially been certified to be compatible with the following handsets:

• Nokia Lumia 710
• Nokia Lumia 800
• HTC Titan
• HTC Radar
• Samsung Focus S
• Samsung Focus Flash

I’v just did a quick test and video chat also works on devices without a front facing camera (it uses the main camera on the back instead). Check it out in action in the video after the break:

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Skype for Windows Phone 7 still scheduled to be released this year

It’s been a while since we heard anything about the Windows Phone 7 version of Skype which was announced back in April during the MIX11 developer event. Now that the first Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handsets equipped with front facing camera are starting to hit the shelves many users are eagerly waiting for the application to be released. Unfortunately front facing camera support has not been confirmed yet but it’s same to assume that it will be present from the get go but, obviously, only available on compatible devices.

Microsoft, who was present and at an HTC Ultimate event has confirmed that the Skype application is still on schedule to launch this year but apparently didn’t give any more info. Now that Skype is part of Microsoft it should only be logical to see it soon rather than later and also hopefully fully integrated in a future version of the OS similar to the current Twitter and Facebook integration.

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Skype working on Video chat for Windows Phone 7


Skype which is now soon going to be the Microsoft Skype Division is looking for a Software Engineer to help optimize the Skype Video Engine solution for Microsoft Windows and Windows Phone platforms. The official Skype application for Windows Phone 7 was announced back in April and is set to be released this fall alongside Mango but we have yet to know if it will support video chat in its first release. The only Windows Phone Mango device that is known to have a front facing camera is the Samsung SGH-i937 that was briefly unveiled at WPC11 last month but it’s now safe to assume that other OEMs will probably release FF enabled device too.

As an Engineer in the Microsoft Platforms team, you are responsible for building and optimizing the Skype Video Engine solution for Microsoft Windows and Windows Phone platforms. You will be working with a small team of highly skilled development and testing professionals to deliver a new release of the Video Engine every 2 months. We are looking for a star quality C++ developer to be based in Skype Stockholm or Tallinn office, but will involve travel to other Skype offices in Europe and the U.S.

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Sharing Music and Videos with Messenger in Windows Phone 7 Mango

Here’s a Mango feature that I wasn’t aware off: Music and Video sharing via Messenger. As you probably already know the Messenger integration in the Windows Phone 7 Mango (build 7712) allows you to share pictures with your chat buddies but what you may not know (and I personally didn’t, so thanks to Nathaniel for giving me the heads up on this one) is that you can share music files (wma/mp3) and videos files (wmw/mp4) from a PC to a windows Phone on Messenger. As you will see in the video demo I shot below the files are downloaded to the phone and can then be played back from there.They are unfortunately not saved to the Music & Video hub so you will only show up in their respective Messenger thread (they will be gone from your phone when you delete the conversation thread. Video after the break:

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Microsoft details new languages and local services support in Windows Phone 7 Mango

Microsoft’s Windows Phone team has just detailed the new languages support coming this fall in Mango. As you probably already know, Mango will support 17 new languages in addition to the 6 already supported since launch (not 16 like originally announced): Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish. The Zune software will also support the set of languages.

Not all the languages listed above will be available on handsets as this is depended on the carrier and phone manufacturer (the more languages the bigger the rom will be..). Mango will also include four new fonts: Simplified Chinese (DengXian), Traditional Chinese (Microsoft MHei), Japanese (Yu Gothic), Korean (Microsoft NeoGothic).

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IM+ for Windows Phone 7 gets a price cut and now supports Windows Live Messenger

I+M for Windows Phone 7 has just received a price cut (from $9.99 to $4.99) and now includes support for Windows Live Messenger unlike the initial version. If you have a developer unlocked WP7 handsets then you probably won’t really care because the Mango Beta natively supports Messenger and Facebook chat in the messaging application of the OS. I+M still support Google Talk, etc so you may give it a try anyway. Download it here.

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IM+ messenger application for Windows Phone 7 finally submitted to the Marketplace

The famous Instant Messenger client, IM+ is finally headed to Windows Phone 7 according to the developer’s latest tweet indicating that the application has been submitted to the Marketplace for review. IM+ Web Messenger allows user to log in and chat with contacts from Windows Live Messenger, Facebook Chat, Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, MySpace, ICQ, Google Talk and Jabber. It will be interesting to see how the application will effectively work given that there no TCP/IP support in the current pre-Mango version of Windows Phone 7. Will it use some kind of HTTP routing/tunneling or maybe use the Webbrowser control and thus go through web version of the service.

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List of all of the new Windows Phone 7 Mango features

I’ve just compiled a relatively long list of all the most important new features that are going to be introduced with Windows Phone 7 Mango later this fall. Some features are still probably missing either because they haven’t been announced yet or because I forgot about them so feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll update this list. You will notice that there’s obviously less that 500 features which is the official PR claim. Unfortunately Microsoft isn’t saying what is exactly counted as new feature so I’m going to guess that it’s mix between some of the new APIs and end-user functionalities. Hit the break to check the most important features:

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Preview

Can’t get enough of Windows Phone 7 Mango ? I just came back from the Paris unveiling event with quite a bit of info regarding the first major update of Microsoft’s mobile OS. First let me start by pointing out to the previous Mango post I did about the new APIs and Developer related features here and here. Today’s preview will mainly focus on the consumer experience and some other bits of info that you may have not heard of before.

There’s obviously not much to say that already hasn’t been said earlier and even shown in official videos. The first question on everybody’s mind is most probably: When is Mango going to be released? Well the official answer is this Autumn but from what I’ve been told there won’t be a official launch day similar to what was done last year with Windows Phone 7. Instead, OEMs will start launching their devices when they are ready. This essentially means that once Mango is RTM and certified by carriers, manufacturers will integrate the gold code into their upcoming phones and start shipping them once they are ready. There will be a steady release of Mango handsets throughout the fall season and holidays.

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Enterprise features announced: Lync Mobile, Office 365, Server Search, connection to hidden WiFi networks

Microsoft has just announced during today’s TechED keynote all the new Enterprise features to be introduced in Windows Phone 7 Mango later this year. As we previously heard, Mango will have a new and improved Skydrive and Office support in the OS’s Office Hub, including Office 365 integration and a Lync application. But this was only the tip of the iceberg:

  • Pinnable email folders: Pin a folder to the start screen for quick access. This could be an email folder for a specific project, from a specific group or person (like your boss), or an RSS feed you’ve set up in Outlook.
  • Conversation view in email: Emails in your inbox are organized by conversation, bringing replies to a thread into a consolidated view so it’s faster and easier to stay on top of the conversation.

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More Windows Phone 7 Mango features unveiled: Messenger and Facebook chat, WiFi hotspot, Office 365

More Windows Phone 7 / Windows Phone 7.5 Mango features have just been unveiled again by the Windows Phone development podcast. As I said in a previous post; Mango is going to matter. We have confirmation today that this release will finally include Windows Live Messenger and Facebook chat support in the People Hub alongside native support for check-ins a handful of other additions that are sure to make everybody happy. Hit the break for all the info.

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Microsoft acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion

Microsoft has officially announced today that it’s planning to acquire Skype for an estimated $8.5 Billion in cash. This is undoubtedly a big move to prevent Google and Facebook from acquiring the most successful VOIP service currently on the market. What does it mean for Windows Phone ? Well, not much in the short term. The official Skype application is still going to come out this fall alongside Mango and Skype is most probably still going to be available on most platforms (update: this is confirmed in the press release).

Microsoft already has several VOIP offerings: Lync for business users (formerly Office Communicator) and also Windows Live Messenger. How will Skype fit into the company’s communication strategy is something that is yet unknown but having some sort of Skype + Messenger cross-branding / integration is probably the first thing that will come out of this deal.

Update: here’s the interesting part of the announcement:

Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.

Both companies have also just announced that Skype will now become a new Business division of Microsoft called “Microsoft Skype Division” Redmond already has all the tech so acquiring Skype isn’t really going to give them anything really new compared to what they already have besides the brand and mind-share / reach. But I wouldn’t be surprised if next year’s Windows Phone chassis feature a front facing camera though. Update: With this acquisition Microsoft is also buying Qik which was bought by Skype in January 2011.

Press release after the break:

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Windows Live Messenger to be integrated into Windows Phone 7 Mango

As it’s usually always the case during a Beta testing, many Microsoft employees already have Windows Phone 7 Mango running on their devices. What this also means is that leaks are inevitable. We are learning today from a Chinese guy Xiao Bian who apparently has it running on a Samsung Focus, that Mango will natively feature Windows Live Messenger integration in the People Hub, something that many users have been waiting for. Microsoft unofficially confirmed to me that this was coming when I asked them about it in Barcelona during MWC11 and claimed that it was in V1.0 because it was a priority feature. Another interesting bit is the inclusion of hard-writing recognition for east-Asian characters (would be a bit painful without a Stylus but that’s better than nothing I guess).

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Windows Live Messenger available on the iPhone

Windows Live Messenger has finally been released on the iPhone today for free. The application seamlessly integrates all the features found in the desktop version into a nicely laid out UI tha reatins the commen design queus of the iPhone OS:

Chat:
Instant message with your Windows Live Messenger and Y! Messenger contacts on the go so you’re always connected to the people that matter most. You can even receive IM notifications when your app is closed so you never miss a message.

Social:
Windows Live Messenger gives you one place to view the updates your Messenger friends are sharing from social networks like Facebook, Flickr, MySpace and more, helping you cut through the clutter on the go.

Photos:
Upload photos right from your phone to share your favorite moments with the people that matter most. Create albums, add captions, and let your friends and family comment on your photos.

Hotmail:
Access your Hotmail account without leaving the app to read, reply to, and compose emails. Get email notifications within the application so you know when you have new messages.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft intends to integrate Windows Live Messenger into Windows Phone 7. So far we haven’t seen anything on this front (only basic social network integration into the people’s hub) so it is still any one’s guess if this services will be natively integrated into the OS in a later update or if Microsoft is planning to develop a application similar to the one released on the iPhone today that would be available on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Source: iTunes

Windows Live Messenger for iPhone unveiled


Neowin just got the scoop on the official Windows Live Messenger application for the iPhone. As you can see in the screenshots above the UI looks nearly identical to the desktop version and features some of the same features like photo sharing, social stream updates, chatting etc… Microsoft is said to be ready to unveil Windows Live Wave 4 tomorrow. What would be interesting to see is how Windows Live Messenger will be integrated into Windows Phone 7. So far nothing has been shown other that FaceBook integration in the people’s hub but no sign of a messenger client yet. This launch of the messenger app on the iPhone will not be Microsoft first entry in Apple’s Appstore; the company already launched Bing for iPhone back in December.

Source: Neowin