If you’re running the latest Windows Insider build of Windows 10, you have access to the new Messaging and Skype Video apps. But you don’t have to be an Insider to get these apps: If you’re on the release version of Windows 10, you can download them now from the Windows Store.
@AugieD369_Live: @thurrott Windows 10 Messages and Skype Video apps now available on Windows Store as a single download: https://t.co/UkqnlPtyag
I’ve been using these two apps—Messaging and Skype Video—since the previous leaked build, but they officially debuted in build 10565 for Windows Insiders on the Fast ring on Monday. But there seems to be some confusion about these apps. So let’s see what’s happening.
As was the case with Windows 8, Microsoft would like to replace the aging Skype desktop client for Windows with a more modern solution. But instead of just releasing a single Skype modern app, as it did with Windows 8, Microsoft will instead integrate Skype into the OS. And the way it will do that is to put Skype where you need it, instead of forcing you to think “Skype” when you want to communicate with others.
What this means is that there will eventually be at least three in-box apps in Windows 10 (and by extension, Windows 10 Mobile) that provide access to Skype functionality. (And I would imagine that Microsoft will continue updating the “flagship” Skype/Skype for Business clients for power users and business users too.) These include:
Messaging. This app provides text-based instant messaging capabilities
Skype Video. This app provides video-chat capabilities.
Phone. This app provides audio-chat capabilities. (It’s currently available in Windows 10 build 10565, but not to RTM users.)
You can snag the first two of these apps, Messaging and Skype Video, by downloading the Messaging app from the Windows Store. (Or you can simply use the Windows Insider builds to get all three.) You can also get all three on current builds of Windows 10 Mobile for Windows Insiders, as they’re universal apps that will work across phones, tablets and PCs.
“These Windows applications enable quick and easy, free calling and messaging to other Skype users across phones, over 3G/4G and Wi-Fi tablets and to PCs Wi-Fi,” Microsoft explained (of the functionality in Windows 10 for PCs). “Try things like Quick Reply from Action Center where incoming notifications will come in with the option to reply inline without opening the application. This is an early preview and you can expect some bugs, and more features to come as we deliver monthly updates.”