Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 will ship with Skype pre-installed.

This means you won't have to download Skype. Anyone who hasn't tried Skype will get it when they upgrade their operating system to Windows 8.1 or purchase a Windows 8.1 PC. Once you have Windows 8.1, just log on to access Skype on the Start Screen. It'll be available as the default communications experience in Windows 8.1, replacing Microsoft's Windows 8 Messaging app.

Microsoft this week revealed the release date of the full consumer build of Windows 8.1. It will land as a free download to Windows 8 users from 17 October. The Skype plans were also previously rumored, but Microsoft hadn't confirmed the official bundle until now. 

Skype is a 10-year-old, free messaging client developed by the Microsoft Skype Division, and it provides users with voice, video and instant messaging functionality.