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Microsoft’s Skype Division will debut its new app for Windows 8 on Friday, the same day the new operating system launches — a big boost for Windows and one of the most high-profile benefits yet from Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of the Internet communications company.

Skype announced the new app this morning, saying it will be available from the Windows Store or preinstalled on Windows 8 devices. Skype also integrates with the built-in Windows 8 People app when connected to the user’s Microsoft account and related email address.

Features include notifications on the Windows 8 Start screen for incoming calls and messages, plus Live Tile integration to show missed calls and recent messages.

There’s also the ability to snap the Skype app to take up just a portion of the screen while running another app next to it (as with other Windows 8 apps). Skype is also adding a new “modern dial pad” for calling traditional land lines using Skype credit, with the ability to see recent calls and track remaining credits.

Skype integration in the Windows 8 People app.

The new app is particularly good news for Skype users (like me) who preordered the Microsoft Surface tablet, which has a front-facing camera. When I bought my family’s new Surface last week, I was betting (or at least hoping) that this would happen sooner rather than later.

Now can we please have that Skype app for Xbox Live and Kinect, people?

Here’s a Skype video showing more of the new Windows 8 application.

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