Skype 6.1 features new integration with Outlook

Latest version of desktop client for Windows lets users IM, call, and video chat with contacts directly from Outlook

Skype today announced that Version 6.1 of its Windows desktop client integrates with Outlook, meaning users can launch Skype IM sessions and phone calls with their Outlook contacts directly from the application.

This new integration between Skype 6.1 and Outlook may prove compelling enough to soothe Windows users who learned earlier this week that Microsoft plans to kill off Messenger in March in favor of Skype.

Skype 6.1 features new integration with Outlook

The new integration, which works with Outlook 2010 and later, means users now view their Outlook contacts' online statuses, contact information, and mood message via Outlook contact cards, according to Skype. Additionally, users can initiate phone calls to contacts' mobile phones or landlines, and they can engage in chat sessions, audio calls, or video calls with Outlook contacts who are also among their Skype contacts..

"You can call anyone as long as you have their contact information in Outlook, but you don't need to be friends on Skype," according to the Skype blog. "You can use your existing Skype credit or subscription to reach them."

One caveat: The contact's email address in Outlook has to be the same as his or her email address for Skype, or the client won't connect them.

This story, "Skype 6.1 features new integration with Outlook," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.