Windows Phone has a thriving app marketplace, but one of the glaring omissions is Skype. Skype’s absence is especially notable given that Microsoft acquired the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service for $8.5 billion last year. The Redmond software giant announced that Skype would be coming to Windows Phone nearly a year ago, but it has yet to surface. In fact, we recently named it one of the most anticipated Windows Phone apps of 2012. A new report, however, indicates that the wait might soon be over.
Internal Microsoft documentation, which correctly revealed information about the upcoming plans for 4G LTE devices and the $200 million marketing campaign, reportedly states that the Skype app will be released in the first half of 2012. The release will coincide with a heavy promotion of Windows Phone to Skype’s more than 170 million active users, as well as a push to make all of the “top 25 apps” from competing platforms available on Windows Phone.
It should be interesting to see how Microsoft integrates Skype into the Windows Phone operating system. Will it remain a standalone app, or will it be baked into the OS like Windows Live Messenger? Only time will tell. But with Microsoft’s plans to integrate Skype into its other offerings like Windows, Xbox, and Office, as well as Skype’s heavy presence on competing platforms, we can’t wait to see what happens. It might just turn into Window Phone’s “killer app.”