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Microsoft has made Outlook.com-Skype integration generally available to all users after testing a preview version that lasted almost a year in some markets.

The link lets users of the Outlook.com webmail service communicate with their Skype contacts via video and audio calls from within their email interface.

Microsoft made available a preview version of the integration in hand-picked markets starting in April of last year and at the time promised the worldwide availability of Skype for Outlook.com for the summer of 2013, so the integration is arriving with a significant delay.

To tie Outlook.com and Skype together, users need to merge their Microsoft and Skype accounts and install a browser plug-in that works with Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

"With Skype for Outlook.com, you can easily connect with your Skype friends right from your Outlook.com inbox, so you can go from chat or email to a video call with just one click," Microsoft official Karen Tong said.