Microsoft launches Skype for Windows Phone but skips low-end devices

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) released version 1.0 of its Skype for Windows Phone application, limiting the calling and messaging service to devices with 512MB of memory--a move that excludes low-end Windows Phone Tango devices including Nokia (NYSE:NOK)'s Lumia 610, which features just 256MB of RAM.

Skype noted the memory requirement on its Garage blog but did not specify when or if it plans to expand the Windows Phone app to Tango devices.

The Lumia 610 is the first Nokia device to run the Windows Phone Tango variant, which is officially known as Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh. Tango scales down or removes many of the features found in the full-fledged Windows Phone 7.5 in an effort to reduce costs and help push the Microsoft operating system into the emerging markets segment.

Skype for Windows Phone 1.0 incorporates a series of new features and fixes identified during the app's beta testing period. Highlights include portrait-mode video calling, support in 18 languages, audio conference participation and improved contact blocking. Skype for Windows Phone 1.0 also resolves a host of performance issues and navigation problems. The app is free to download and works over 3G or Wi-Fi connections.

Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion in cash in May 2011. In addition to Windows Phone, Skype supports Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

For more:
- read this Skype Garage blog entry

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