Microsoft is bringing its Skype family of apps closer to its other services with a new announcement made today. Traditionally, while you could sign into Skype with both your Microsoft and other email accounts, you were limited to logging in to your Skype account with just your Skype ID. Luckily for Skype aficionados, Microsoft is changing that in a new update to the Skype backend. Now Microsoft will handle the Skype sign in, as well as allow users of Skype accounts to log into Xbox Live, Outlook.com and OneDrive (though the firm notes you’ll need an email address linked for some of this). These changes have been a long time coming , with Microsoft updating their mobile apps on iOS and Android to include the simplified sign-in a while ago.
In a blog post on the official Skype blogs, the firm states:
We’ve been working to bring Skype and Microsoft closer together and are excited to announce that soon you will be able to use your Skype Name to sign into other Microsoft services like Xbox, Office and OneDrive. With a single sign-in (and an email address for certain services) you will soon be able to have fun on Xbox Live, access your photos and documents through OneDrive, check your email on Outlook.com, and connect with your friends and family on Skype.
If you have noticed some changes to the Skype sign-in screen, password change and account recovery flow, that’s because these are now managed by Microsoft. None of these changes will affect your ability to use Skype—as usual, you can still sign in using your Skype Name
In a statement given to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft clarified on the effects of this change for Skype users who currently don’t use Microsoft accounts as their sign in.
“Starting next week when this capability goes live, if you already have a Microsoft account, we recommend updating it with your Skype account. This lets you access Skype, Office, Xbox and other Microsoft services with a single account. After you update your Skype account to a Microsoft account, you can continue using your Skype Name, with your Microsoft account password to sign in, even for Skype. Please note that you can only update your Skype account to a Microsoft account once.
“However, if you don’t have a Microsoft account, or want to keep things separate, you’ll need to add an email address to your Skype account. This makes it easier to get back into your account if you forget your password.”
For too long Microsoft has operated Skype as a company with a very long leash, now it seems the firm is finally integrating Skype into its main portfolio – and not a minute too soon.