Microsoft has been demoing Skype for Windows Phone 7 for months, but has now finally revealed that it is time to let mere mortals download the app.
"Many of you have been waiting for this. And today we are excited to announce our new Skype for Windows Phone Beta app. This now makes Skype available on almost all of the leading mobile smartphone operating systems. The gold version of the app will be available in April, but starting today, you will be able to download the beta version to test drive Skype for Windows Phone and share your feedback with us," says Skype.
However those looking for a "baked-in" experience will be disappointed. At the moment the Skype for Windows Phone app is just that - an app that will let you catch up with your Skype friends.
With Skype for Windows Phone Beta you can make free audio and video calls to your Skype contacts over 3G and 4G or WiFi, make affordable calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype Credit, create and hold one-to-one and group chats, and update your profile and account information, among others features.
You will get is access to your contacts, a dialpad, a list of recent calls or chats, and be able to search your friends in an interface similar to how the phone hub looks already.
It's thought that Microsoft is working on deeper integration in the next version of Windows Phone 7 Apollo.
You can download the beta version of the Skype for Windows Phone app for free. You will need to have a smartphone running Windows Phone 7.5.
The new app will work with the following phones
· Nokia Lumia 710
· Nokia Lumia 800
· HTC Titan
· HTC Radar
· Samsung Focus S
· Samsung Focus Flash
You'll be able to download it here when the link goes live