Skype integration 'in the next release of Office'

Skype - coming to Office, Kinect, Messenger and more
Skype - coming to Office, Kinect, Messenger and more

Microsoft made its biggest ever acquisition this week, announcing that it had bought popular video chat service Skype for $8.5 billion.

But we also learned some details of Skype being integrated into the next version of Microsoft Office.

At a press conference Steve Ballmer explained that the deal still had to go through the business of approval but he hoped this would be done by the end of the calendar year.

Because of this there may well something of a wait for Skype to get integrated into Microsoft products, such as Office, Kinect and Messenger.

While Microsoft is being coy about an actual date for the first Skype and Micrsoft link-up, Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office division, did explain to TechRadar that we should see Skype appear in some way in the next iteration of Office.

Last we heard Office 2012 - also known as Office 15 - is slated for release in mid to late 2012.

Skype integration

"In terms of integration it is too early for us to tell. We are still understanding the core technologies that Skype has," said DelBene.

"There's code that we can start from, though, and Office has made a significant investment on collaboration tools, so a lot of the core components are in place but we need to work out what else we need to do.

"We can't go into specifics, but we can maybe start looking at Skype integration in the next release of Office."

Currently the cloud version of Office – Microsoft Office 365 – is in public beta and within this is Lync, Microsoft's business-orientated video and communications client.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.