Later this year you’ll be able to say “Alexa, call Mom on Skype” and have Amazon’s digital assistant do the right thing with Microsoft’s messaging network.
Microsoft and Amazon have been working to integrate their technology. Earlier in the year, Cortana and Alexa gained the ability to talk to each other (albeit with some limitations), and the Skype integration is another sign of cooperation between the two companies.
Any Alexa-enabled device will support voice calls, and hardware with screens and cameras, such as the Echo Show, will also support video calling. The Skype support includes SkypeOut support calls to phone numbers, and you’ll be able to receive incoming calls on Alexa hardware, too.
In times gone by, Skype was integrated into all sorts of platforms, particularly “smart” TVs. As it modernized and upgraded the Skype platform, Microsoft killed off most of these integrations: many of those devices couldn’t use the new Skype network, and most offered no convenient path for software updates.
But the new, modern Skype runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux on the desktop, and iOS and Android in the mobile space. The Alexa integration is the first third party device integration to be added, rather than taken away, in quite some time. Of course, Alexa integration sidesteps the updating problem, since most of the heavy lifting will be done in the cloud. As such, it should avoid the fate that befell the smart TV integrations.