Nov. 12, 2012 at 1:06 PM ET
Skype for Windows 8 Phone is available from Microsoft now in a "preview" version, meaning there's going to be bugs.
Still, initial comments about it — "really awesome, must have" "Finally!" and "Some app features need tweaking but above all, solid!" — share the enthusiasm users have for the popular video calling program.
Microsoft, which bought Skype last year for $8.5 billion, has been working to make the most of its prize purchase. Last week, Microsoft said it is dumping its Windows Live Messenger instant-messaging program, and making most users switch to Skype instead. Skype has 250 million users worldwide.
"In this Preview, you'll get all of the Skype basics in the new, modern design along with many of the new features such as integration with the People Hub and a combined contact list with buddies from Windows Live Messenger," writes Derek Snyder, head of Skype's mobile product marketing, on the company's blog.
"Plus, you'll start receiving some call and message notifications — even when the app is closed and in the background."
Among the features of the preview version, available for download here:
Microsoft/Skype is making it quite clear that this is not the final version:
**THIS IS A PREVIEW RELEASE, EXPERIENCES ARE NOT YET FINAL**
NOTE: Some capabilities listed above are work-in-progress and may not function consistently. This includes, but is not limited to: call reliability and the ability to receive incoming calls and chat notifications when outside of the app.
As always, pay attention the notes, particularly the "may not function consistently" aspect, something that could drive you crazy unless your'e prepared to put this preview through its paces.