Ever since Microsoft acquired Skype, people have been wondering how the communication service and application would fit the company’s portfolio.
The Redmond-based software giant was mum so far on its plans to integrate the service with its other products, yet some info on the matter has already emerged.
Earlier this week, the company announced its OEM partners on the availability of Skype for integration with their computers.
“Enhance your Windows 7 installations with Skype
,” Microsoft’s Steven Bink notes in a blog post
announcing the availability of a Skype OPK.
The new Skype OPK arrives with capabilities similar to those packed inside any other OEM Preinstallation Kit (such as those available for Windows and Office).
It packs a wide range of technical info to offer OEMs the possibility to integrate it with their PCs in a multitude of scenarios.
The new OPK was released with all the tools and details required for deploying Skype 5.8. It comes with the installer application, as well as with instructions on what OEMs need to do to silently install it for their users.
Through including Skype in their PCs, OEMs ensure that customers benefit from a load of communication capabilities, including text, voice, video and the like.
preinstalled, users will take advantage of all the features already available through the standalone application and service: Skype-to-Skype calls. Talk to anyone else on Skype, anywhere in the world, for free.
Video calling on Skype. Talk face to face with live video for free.
Instant messaging. Send an instant message to anyone on Skype, for free.
Call phones and mobiles. Call mobile phones or landlines anywhere in the world with Skype Credit—or save even more with a subscription.
Group video calling. Share, celebrate, and collaborate from anywhere in the world. There’s so much they can do together over group video.
Screen sharing. Share their screens with anyone on Skype for free, or share with a group of friends or colleagues using Skype Premium.
The Skype 5.8 OPK.img weighs 18MB and can be downloaded from Microsoft’s dedicated website
for OEMs (registration required).
Microsoft is expected to make Skype available on more of its platforms as an integrated experience, including Xbox
and Windows Phone. Windows 8 might also feature integration with the service, yet Microsoft hasn't confirmed it as of now.