Skype, now a division of Microsoft, has announced the availability of Skype Beta for Windows Phone, with free video calling.
Before you rush off to install it, note a few caveats:
- It’s a beta, so not all features are working properly.
- The only supported language is English (“we plan to expand the number of languages in the production release”).
- The app doesn’t run in the background, so you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or instant messages unless the app is open in the foreground.
- Video calling works only in landscape mode.
- You can’t add or manage contacts from the app.
Those are some pretty serious limitations, especially the inability to run in the background. Calling it a beta seems ambitious—it’s really more of a technology demonstration.
Perhaps a more polished version will be ready in April, when a major update to Windows Phone (codenamed “Tango”) is due. Liveside has the details of that release.
If you decide to give the Skype app a try, leave your feedback in the comments.