So Skype announced today that its audio and chat functions are integrated into Microsoft's Office Online, as well as OneDrive. This, as the company puts it, 'allows you to stay in touch more easily with your friends, family, classmates and colleagues'.
I don't know about you guys, but my current Office suite works perfectly with Skype running in the background.
Not to be too cynical, though, the new integration has a few nifty and useful features. First of all, you can collaborate while talking about certain files – be it Word, PowerPoint or Excel, regardless of if this is a new file being created, or one opened up from your OneDrive cloud storage. The same goes for email – you can now talk (and chat) to people via Skype, while collaborating on an email.
The other nifty feature is the chat log. It stays linked to any document or email people collaborated on, so you can always look back and see why certain changes to the document were made.
TechCrunch was quick to notice that this news comes pretty much at the same time when Microsoft announced it is doubling down on its investment in Skype as it tries to play catch up to Slack, another collaboration tool which has gained much popularity in recent years.
In that respect, integrating Skype into Office and Outlook.com seems logical – more than 1.2 billion people use Office, and Outlook.com is currently being used by more th an 400 million people.