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Skype for Windows Phone Due in First Half of 2012

microsoft buys skypeA post by Paul Thurrott reportedly confirms that Microsoft will be shipping the Windows Phone Skype client during the first half of 2012. While this leaves a pretty wide window, its unlikely Microsoft will let the leading VOIP client they recently purchased, be absent from their own mobile operating system as late as July. I’d bet of something around March /April time.

According to the documentation I’ve viewed, however, Microsoft has planned to deliver the Windows Phone version of Skype in the first half of 2012, not by the end of 2011, for some time. And while I’m not privy to why the client has been delayed, I can tell you what Microsoft has been planning from a marketing perspective for some months now.

Skype, as you may realize, is just part of a broader range of Microsoft products whose integration with Windows Phone forms a key part of the software giant’s overall strategy. These products include Xbox, Internet Explorer, Office, Windows, Hotmail, Bing, and, soon, Skype.

The only reason I can see for the delay is how heavily Skype is integrated into Windows Mobile. There is no way a standalone Skype App couldn’t have been delivered by now, so I would assume that the delay is the integration of Skype deep into Windows Phone OS, in the same way that Facebook and Xbox are.

Skype options will need to be integrated into the People Hub, and possibly if Microsoft are feeling really brave, into the Phone system to. Why not offer Skype call integration in the same way that Android natively offers SIP integration? Skype to Skype calls are free, so why not offer people the opportunity to call a contact via Skype right from the phone and people hub?

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