Microsoft has released the final version of the Skype client for Windows Phone devices. The latest version includes the ability to search and add contacts, call landline phones, improved app startup time and general bug fixes.
However, there are still some caveats left. The application cannot run in the background, which means once you exit it you cannot get calls anymore, nor do you get any toast notifications from it. The Skype spokesperson who talked to The Verge said that this is due to the “combination of how Skype works and how the Windows Phone OS works.”
In comparison, other VoIP applications such as Tango work fine even after you close them and Skype itself works perfectly in the background on iOS and Android. This Skype limitation is particularly unexplainable because Microsoft now owns Skype and it could have very well tuned it to make sure that the app would work perfectly with the OS.
To me, this seems like something Microsoft is saving up for Windows 8. Since it’s pretty much certain Windows Phone 7.5 owners won’t be getting updated to Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is likely to use features like fully integrated Skype support as a carrot for people to upgrade to the new Windows 8 devices.
You can download the latest version of the Skype app for Windows Phone from here.