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Skype calls finally come to, landing in UK first

If you use, you'll soon be able to make Skype video calls directly from your browser. Nifty.

Skype is being baked into, letting you enjoy video chats with your contacts directly from your browser.

The extra feature is beginning to appear for users in the UK, Microsoft says, and will be landing in the US and Germany, 'in the coming weeks'. Worldwide availability will become a glittering reality in the summer.

In the browser view, which is replacing Microsoft's long-standing Hotmail service, you'll be able to click on your contacts' profile photo and select a video chat icon, which sits alongside the 'email' and 'chat' options. If you're desperate to see what it will look like, check out the video below.

I had a look inside my scarce-used account, but didn't see any video calling options yet. Microsoft says it's rolling the service out though, which means it probably isn't live in every inbox yet -- if you're in the UK and not seeing any video call icons either, don't panic.

The addition of Skype has been an awfully long time coming. Back in August 2012 Microsoft said the service was due 'soon'.

Skype was bought by Microsoft in 2011 for roughly £5.2bn, but Steve Ballmer and pals are yet to put the video-and-phone chat app to lethal use. After buying the service, Microsoft promised we'd see Skype working in tandem with Kinect on the Xbox, but we're still waiting.

Are you a Skype fan? Do you use, or do you prefer Gmail? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.