As Skype announced that it was hiring for some positions at its newly formed Skype for Xbox division, we did a little of digging around to understand why Skype, which is itself a division of Microsoft, would need to have a dedicated division to get the VOIP service on Microsoft's popular gaming platform.
It turns out that there are three job posted by Microsoft, all based in London. One for Software Development Engineer, the other one for an Engineering Manager (opens in new tab) and the last one - and potentially the most interesting - for a Lead Program Manager (opens in new tab).
The brief for the latter describes how Microsoft intends to make Skype work with the Xbox. "Skype is working on powering real-time voice and video communications on the Xbox", the description reads before adding that "Xbox is a fundamental lynchpin of Skype's living-room strategy, and we are focused on enabling amazing new in-game and in-console voice and video experiences for the next generation of Xbox".
This could mean that Microsoft wants to cement the role of the Xbox (the 360 and future models) as an all rounder platform rather than just a mere gaming console, perhaps even extending its remit to a telecommunication hub as well.
Skype For Xbox will be a visual and vocal experience; whether a camera will be a compulsory element will determine whether the Kinect (and its successor) will be an integral part of the next generation Xbox.
In addition, the description also mentions new "in-game" and "in-console" experiences with regards to the next generation of Xbox while both of the engineering positions require that Windows 8 metro development experience would be a benefit as "Microsoft platforms move towards Metro style".