Back in September, we did report that Skype calling was on its way to Amazon’s Alexa—now the long wait is over, and you can now call mobile and landlines using SkypeOut and saying “Alexa, call Ken on Skype” to make a call.
This partnership further strengthens the existing business relationship between Microsoft and Amazon. In 2017, Amazon and Microsoft partnered over two of their popular products Alexa and Cortana. That partnership obviously opened the door to bigger things for both companies, and the future seems bright for both companies. “We’re excited to continue bringing the best of Microsoft and Amazon together,” Gaurav Sareen corporate vice president for Microsoft said about the company’s partnership with Amazon a couple of weeks ago.
Beginning from this week, Skype calling will be available in Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices. According to The Verge, Amazon’s Echo range will be able to access all of Skype’s basic calling features, and hardware including video calling support for Skype. If you are Skype user, you will be able to call mobile landlines with the use of SkypeOut. As a matter of fact, you will be able to call you contact by simply saying “Alexa, call Tom on Skype” to activate a call.
“This is the next step in the collaboration between Microsoft and Amazon to deliver delightful customer experiences through voice, which began with joining Cortana and Alexa. Since then, we’ve added Alexa integration on Xbox and are continuing to work together to bring the best of Skype and Alexa together to enable intelligent communications for our users,” Sareen said.
A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft started refocusing the calling app to serve the major reason why people use the service—calling, video calls, and messaging. The mobile app has now done away with those features hardly being used by people. Chats, calls, contacts, and notifications on desktop have all now been moved to the left of the window to provide a central place that makes navigation easier for all.
The classic blue theme has now been reintroduced to Skype—and this time around, it has been adjusted for contrast and readability. Microsoft also reduced some of the decorative elements that include notifications, and we now have a situation where content is accorded more priority.
More updates and redesigns can be expected in the coming months—this is not unusual especially with apps like Skype. The service is always looking for new ways to keep up with the ever-changing tastes of consumers. The competition from other messaging and video calling apps have kept Skype on its toes, and it has little or no choice but to keep pushing out these changes and updates to keep its users happy.
Integrating Skype calling into Alexa is a big move—one that will almost certainly benefit the two companies—users inclusive.