Skype for Windows Phone 8 exits beta, Messenger notifications now on by default

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) released the latest version of its Skype voice and messaging application for Windows Phone 8 devices, dropping the beta preview tag attached to previous versions of the service.

While Skype for Windows Phone 8 version 2.5 focuses on general improvements and reliability, there is one noteworthy change: Message notifications for Messenger buddies are now on by default. Skype has also fixed issues that disabled the video call button immediately after users accepted an incoming contact request and triggered startup crashes for some users signing in via Microsoft Account.

Skype for Windows Phone 8 version 2.5 is available as a free download from the Windows Phone Store. The app is also compatible with devices running Windows Phone 7.5.

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. More than 45 percent of smartphone owners now use some form of instant messaging or over-the-top messaging app in addition to or instead of traditional SMS, according to a survey conducted in late 2012 by Analysys Mason; in addition, 20 percent of consumers use a VoIP app, and 20 percent within that segment use it more than conventional voice services. Analysys Mason notes that Skype dominates the VoIP market, with 79 percent of VoIP app users/16 percent of all respondents embracing the service.

For more:
- read this Skype Garage blog post

Related articles:
Skype for Windows Phone 8 update restores People Hub, adds HD video
Survey: Half of smartphone owners use IM, OTT messaging apps
Skype for iOS adds support for Microsoft Hotmail, Messenger
Microsoft launches Skype for Windows Phone but skips low-end devices
Skype pushes into social messaging with GroupMe acquisition 
Microsoft acquires Skype for $8.5B in cash

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