Summary:

Microsoft’s purchase of Skype is starting to benefit the Windows Phone 8 platform: The newest preview version of Skype for Microsoft smartphones is the first to offer HD video on mobiles.

Skype HD video call

Windows Phone 8 device owners might want to take an extra minute to check on their appearance if they plan to make any Skype video calls. Version 2.4 of the Skype software preview now includes support for 720p video calling, a first for Skype on any mobile platform. The update also brings Skype contacts into the Windows Phone 8 People Hub for one-tap video calls.

Not every Windows Phone 8 model can take advantage of the HD video calling feature, but the software should also improve video quality on low- to mid-range smartphones while also smartly adjusting video quality based on connection speeds:

“We have significantly improved video calling quality for all users, offering VGA video on lower end handsets and 720p HD on higher-end devices including the Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X and Samsung Ativ S. And the app even intelligently determines the best quality available based on the speed of your connection. Additionally, we’ve added landscape mode for calls, and the ability to switch between front and back cameras for you to chat in the most comfortable way possible.”

Given that Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion in May, 2011, it shouldn’t surprise that the video calling software will be improved first for Microsoft’s own smartphone platform before iOS, Android or other mobile operating systems. Hopefully, however, these will see support for HD video calling in Skype over time.

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