Microsoft today announced that it has released Skype for Outlook.com in six markets, with more to follow. The firm had previously released a preview version of this integration back in April.
I wrote about the preview version of this functionality in Skype + Outlook.com. Since then, I’ve been more than a bit frustrated by how this works, and how it’s not readily apparent how one might disable this functionality. But before we get to that, here’s the rundown of what’s happening.
Markets. Skype for Outlook.com is currently available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, France, Canada, and the United States. The service will be made available worldwide “in the near future.”
What you can do. Skype for Outlook.com lets you communicate with your friends via text messaging (IM), audio chat, or video chat.
Plug-in required. Skype for Outlook.com requires you to install a browser plug-in before you can perform video calls.
So, aside from the browser plug-in silliness, what’s my issue with this thing?
Well, for starters it’s a disaster. When someone calls me on Skype in Windows 8.1, I have FOUR—count ‘em, four—pop-up notifications alerting me to the call: Two from the Skype desktop application, one from the Skype mobile app (Metro) and now one from Outlook.com. Here’s how that looks.
(And by the way, this doesn’t include the phone. If you have Skype installed on a smart phone or tablet, those will start freaking out with audible notifications as well.)
Second, once I answer the call in the Skype desktop application, the Outlook.com notification never disappears nor does it stop ringing. This is beyond aggravating, as you might imagine, and I have to remember to manually stop the call in Outlook.com to stop the ringing sound.
Third, I don’t see any way to turn this off. If I don’t want Skype in Outlook.com—and I don’t—where is the control to disable this feature?