When Microsoft bought out the popular video chat service Skype, we knew it wouldn’t be long before we started hearing about integration with Windows Phone. The wait seems to be nearly over as Neil Stevens, Skype’s Vice President, has started speaking about what their hope and plans are for the video service on Microsoft’s mobile platform.
Stevens mentions to Forbes in an interview that they don’t want Skype to be just another app on Windows Phone, but a closer part of the experience, which is the mantra of Windows Phone. This could only be achieved if they have access to “deeper levels of the OS” itself and much more so than their current clients on both iOS and Android.
A Windows Phone app, if done well, can show people what a really great Skype experience is like when there are no hardware or vendor limitations.
…We’re disadvantaged against [Apple’s video-chat service] FaceTime because of this closed environment.
People don’t want to start an app when they’re making a call. This is the way the world’s moving; it’s hard to do on phones but we have to move there.
The disadvantage Neil is speaking of is access to video processing and system components like the address book. Currently, Skype competes with Apples own Facetime product on their platform, but would seem to have deep access on Windows Phone, especially since Microsoft now owns Skype (at least it will once european regulators finalize the deal). Stevens notes that they cannot start implementing until the deal is finalized.
We’re not allowed to do anything in the meantime. We can get a plan for a plan, but that’s it.
One by one Windows Phone seems to be adding the features and deep integration that make it like no other smartphone platform out there. So, it seems you can do things two different ways: the app-centric Apple way or the integrated Windows Phone way, the decision is obviously up to you.