Skype has released a beta version of its VoIP service for Windows Phone devices. It's available for free from the Windows Marketplace.
Another chink in the Windows Phone app armour has been patched over. Skype is now available for the platform, in beta form. The final "gold" edition is scheduled for an April release, but you can check it out from Windows Marketplace now.
Skype is the best-known VoIP service around, and lets you call friends and enemies alike using a 3G or WiFi connection, rather than using your contract's minutes up. Top-up your Skype account with credit and you can also call home phones and standard mobiles using the app.
Like many Windows Phone apps, the Skype app borrows the Windows Phone look, and should therefore fit perfectly slot happily into its UI. However, Skype suggests that functionality is basic at present, saying "this is only the beginning for Skype for Windows Phone...it's just going to get better and better." Skype is expected to be much more deeply-rooted into future versions of Windows Phone, such as the Apollo version set to arrive much later this year.
At present, Skype for Windows Phone is only available to devices running the 7.5 Mango update, released in September 2011. Only a few handsets have been fully certified for best performance with the app, including the Nokia Lumia 710 and 800, and the HTC Titan and Radar. However, other Windows Phone sevices should be able to hack the app too.