At long last, Skype comes to Windows Phone 7

Microsoft says that the application is currently in beta, but the "gold" version of the program will be coming to the operating system in April.

Nokia's Lumia 710 is among the phones that work with Skype.
Nokia's Lumia 710 is among the phones that work with Skype. Josh Miller/CNET

Microsoft's multibillion-dollar Skype acquisition is starting to pay off.

The software giant today announced that Skype for Windows Phone Beta is now available. Windows Phone 7 device owners can opt to download the software directly to their device or from the Marketplace on their PC.

Skype for Windows Phone Beta comes with features one might expect, including free audio and video calls to other Skype users over 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi, as well as the ability to call landlines or mobile phones for a fee. Group chats and one-to-one instant messaging are also available.

Skype has already been made available on Android, iOS, and Symbian. It took last year's $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype to bring the service to Microsoft's own mobile operating system. In addition to Windows Phone, Microsoft plans to integrate Skype into its many other platforms.

Microsoft says that Skype for Windows Phone Beta will work best on Nokia's Lumia 710 and 800 devices, as well as the HTC Titan and HTC Radar. The Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash have also been certified to work with the software.

Skype for Windows Phone Beta is only available on Windows Phone 7.5. Microsoft hopes to release the "gold" version of the software in April.

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