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Microsoft login support and other features to come to Skype for iOS

Microsoft-owned Skype on has updated its iOS app, letting users sign on with their Microsoft accounts.

The move comes after Microsoft announced it is bidding adieu to Messenger after more than 12 years, and encouraged users to switch over to Skype. Skype for iOS version 4.2 lets users sign in with their Messenger, Hotmail, or credentials and merge accounts.

Signing into Skype with a Microsoft account will transport a user's contacts over automatically. From the app, iOS users will be able to have instant message chats with their Messenger, Hotmail, and Outlook contacts.

If you don't have a Microsoft account and are also new to Skype, don't fret - you can now create an account right from the app. The latest version also comes with some other nice goodies, like animated emoticons for devices with a Retina display.

You can also now tap and hold on instant messages to edit and delete them, choose emoticons while typing an instant message, and edit saved phone numbers right from the dial pad. The update also brings the usual bug fixes.

Skype 4.2 is available for free in the App Store for the iPhone and iPad.

Meanwhile, Skype 3.0 for Android, released last week, also lets users sign in to Skype using a Microsoft account, as does the latest version of Skype for Mac and Windows desktop devices, released in October. Also, Skype late last month released a version that works on the newest tablet platform around - Windows 8.

Skype also recently launched gift cards, which can be used for making Skype calls to mobile phones and landlines, or sending text messages to mobile devices anywhere in the world.