Skype rolls out to users worldwide

Microsoft's video chat service is now integrated with for those outside the handful of countries that were part of the initial release.

Microsoft/Screenshot by CNET

Users of around the world can now tap into Skype without having to leave their inbox.

Skype integration with is now available worldwide, according to a blog posted Tuesday by Skype marketing executive Karen Tong. The expanded rollout follows a limited release for users in the US, UK, Germany, and other countries last year.

To enable Skype integration with your account, first download and install the necessary plugin. After the installation completes, you're prompted to open your account.

In, click the Messaging icon on the upper right corner. If your and Skype accounts are separate, you can choose to import your Skype contacts into Outlook. You can then trigger a video chat with one of your Skype contacts one of a few ways.

  1. If you wish to Skype a specific person, click on the chat button. Type the name of the person in the "start new conversation" field and then click on the video or voice call buttons.
  2. If you're engaged in an IM conversation with someone and want to chat via Skype, click on the Skype audio or video call button.
  3. If you're reading someone's email and want to Skype that person, hover your mouse over that person's picture and then click on the Skype audio or video call buttons that appear above the contact details.

Note that for any of the above options to work, the person must be listed in as a Skype contact.

The latest version of the plugin also supports HD video calling. And Tong promises that it fixes a glitch whereby Skype calls continued to ring even after being answered.

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