Ever since buying Skype the best part of five years ago, Microsoft's goal has been to include it, fully integrated, into its platforms, and this has now happened. Albeit in slightly unstable form, and as part of the Windows 10 Mobile Insiders Preview, an update to Messaging (go into the Store and check for updates, etc.) now includes Skype contacts and instant messaging streams. Meanwhile, the video and audio calling side of Skype is handled by a dedicated 'Skype Video' application. It does all work, though exactly how well it weaves itself into my weekly workflow remains to be seen, not least when we have an Insiders Preview that's closer to what will ship with the official OS next month.
Some screens of the update in place:
A succession of intro screens show off the concept, with messages in blue coming in via Skype and those in dak grey via SMS. It's very analagous to Apple's iMessage in concept, though here tied principally to your Microsoft account.
There's an optional tie in via your phone number too, to help link up new Skype contacts; (right) interestingly, this does nothing to disturb the old/existing Skype client. In theory this is redundant (though it still works) - I'm guessing that this will simply not be available anymore for new installs once Windows 10 Mobile is finished.
Go check it out, and comments welcome. Does this simplify things for you or complicate them?(!) And how well did it do picking up your existing Skype contacts? I'm going to be monitoring this over the next days and weeks....