Our favourite Voice Over IP (VOIP) app, Skype has received an update, with the newly announced
release of Skype 6.1 for Windows. The predominant new feature of the update is integration with Outlook.
According to the company, the time spent on email by many people is still significant, while the update is aimed at those users who tend to toggle between their email and Skype desktop clients.
Instead, the new update will enable users to send a Skype instant message, start a free Skype to Skype call, or make a call to any mobile or landline from within Outlook itself.
To this end, the Outlook contact card will display contacts' online status, contact information and mood message. Users will further be able to call someone on their mobile or landline from Outlook, with Skype automatically handling the call. Niftily though, the company elaborated that one will be able to call anyone as long as they have their contact information in Outlook, but they don't need to be friends on Skype.
However, this is a two way street, as instant messaging, and audio and video calls, can also be made to people in one’s Skype contact list using Outlook. This is certainly welcome news, particularly for those who have spent the time and effort building up their contacts list from within Skype itself.
The good news for users of older versions of Outlook is that the new integration works with Outlook 2010 or higher, rather than requiring the latest version of Office. Also included in the new update is a new Profile page, as well as the ability to search for, and add, new contacts more easily.
To the point
While it is a worthy update, surprisingly though, we found that we could not update to the new version from within Skype itself, despite already being signed in, but instead had to download the new version from Skype’s website here.
That being said, it proved to be a painless and quick update, and on that front, we certainly can recommend snagging it right away.