Microsoft says Skype featured front-and-center in Windows 8.1

Skype joins Windows 8.1
You can't skip Skype on Windows 8.1

Microsoft is expanding its "one experience" vision by announcing that Skype will be included with its Windows 8.1 operating system update when it's released in October.

"Skype will be front-and-center on Windows 8.1 – from the very first time you turn on your PC," wrote Aga Guzik, Skype desktop marketing head, in an official blog post.

"Now you don't have to download your favorite app to stay in touch whenever you're apart. With Windows 8.1, simply log in and you're ready to go."

Having Skype built into Windows 8.1 as the default communications program should help the voice-over-IP service increase its current 300 million user count across different devices.

More than 20 new and improved apps

Skype is just one of more than 20 new and improved Microsoft apps and services that the company plans to launch with the operating system this fall.

"SkyDrive is a great example of our new approach," wrote Ryan Gavin, general manager of Microsoft apps and services on the Windows Experience blog.

"We believe that connecting and sharing should be a seamless part of every Windows experience."

That is being applied to other unified experiences that are a part of all Windows devices including Bing, Skype, Internet Explorer, SkyDrive,, Xbox Music, Video and Games.

Matt Swider