Microsoft is proceeding with the integration of Skype into its products, following on the recent announcement of the imminent shutdown of MSN Messenger. This newest announcement is the introduction of Skype 6.1 for Windows, which will support direct integration of the desktop Outlook and Skype clients in Windows. This requires Outlook 2010 or higher release.
The obvious attraction is to see the Skype presence of contacts, and to be able to chat or call from within Outlook. In the image below you see an Outlook email from Kim Nilsson, and then to the right the Skype contact information. The chat icon is selected, which opens the desktop Skype client and the chat session, or reinitiates an existing chat.
The value of Skype chat/video conferencing/telephony in Outlook is obvious, and this leverages the familiarity that most have with the Skype service.