At long last, Microsoft just released Skype for Windows Phone, albeit a few months later than originally expected and not yet in finished form.
The beta of the Skype for Windows Phone app is now available for download, with the final version expected in April.
It’s being released as an app, not integrated by default into the operating system, at least not yet. Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype is expected to eventually result in features from the communications service being integrated into the core experiences of many Microsoft products.
Skype is already available for iPhone, Android and Symbian. A previous version of Skype for Windows Mobile was discontinued after Microsoft made the transition from that operating system. The situation had put Microsoft in the ironic position of being one of the few major smartphone platforms without a Skype app.
The free Skype app runs on Windows Phone 7.5 and above.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Speaking on stage, Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson said it will be the “best, simplest and fastest way to Skype with users from around the world with your Windows Phone.”