Skype for Windows Phone Beta Video Chat
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BARCELONA: Nokia wove a convincing story this morning of success for the still-young and well-behind-the-competition Windows Phone platform, but it was one brief product mention that could be the best augur of future success: The arrival of Skype for Windows Phone--in beta form, at least.
Microsoft acquired Skype last year and though the marriage is not 100% uncontested, the two companies are now working as one to deliver a unique Skype experience to the Windows Phone platform. Skype for Windows Phone Beta, which you can download today, looks unlike any version of Skype you've ever see before.
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The interface still has its signature sky blue accents, but the button styles and feature organization is all Metro. Metro is the new cubist design style that's seeping into all of Microsoft's platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Phone and Xbox Live. Take the contacts list, for example, which is now a letter grid. The app appears to be fully integrated with all of Windows Phone's metaphors, including slide away panes to switch between, say, a profile, and chat.
As with other versions of Skype, Skype for Windows Phone beta lets users make free audio and video calls over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi. By contrast, Apple's Facetime video chat only works over Wi-Fi and between iPhones. The beta works with most Windows Phones running Windows Phone 7.5 (A.K.A. "Mango"), including Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 models, Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash and HTC's Titan and Radar. Microsoft and Skype do not list the Nokia 900 as being tested with the Skype beta.
In a blog post, Microsoft promises that Skype for Windows Phone “supports the most important Skype features you've come to know and love." The final version should ship in April.
Skype has a huge user base. Could the existence of this near universal voice and video calling platform transform Windows Phone into a leading mobile platform? Check out the photos and videos and then share your thoughts in the comments below.
This story originally published on Mashable here.