Microsoft announced on Monday that the preview of its Skype integration in is now live for users in the UK, US, Germany, France, Brazil and Canada.

The company originally revealed in April that a preview of the integration would begin to roll out, and the UK be among the first to have access. Now the test release is available in a total of six countries.

"Today we are excited to give you an update: Skype for is now fully available in several countries around the globe ... we're still working hard to ensure this is available worldwide in the near future," announced Microsoft on its blog.

The mishmash of Microsoft services specifically allows users to make Skype video calls directly from their email accounts. The integration is meant to bolster, especially because of growing competition from Google's Gmail and Hangout services.

Microsoft cited a poll that claimed 76 per cent of people “say that their email conversations frequently or occasionally result in a follow-up phone or video call”. So with Skype for Microsoft is presumably hoping to hook that percentage of people who need more from their email.

To begin making calls while checking email, just install the plug-in for Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. More details on how are available at Microsoft's blog.

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