At the Mobile World Congress 2012, Microsoft has announced the beta version of Skype for Windows Phone; new hardware support; and new developer opportunities with the launch of the Windows Phone marketplace in 23 more markets, including China, Thailand and Vietnam for Asia.
At MWC 2012, Microsoft announced that the beta version of Skype app for Windows Phone is now available for download. The app allows users to make free audio and video calls to their Skype contacts over 3G, 4G or WiFi, make affordable calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype Credit, create and hold one-to-one and group chats, and update profile and account information, among others features. Users can download directly from their Windows Phone (selected models only) or from the Windows Phone Marketplace.
The Windows Phone engineering team has also optimized the Windows Phone experience for affordable devices which can run almost all the apps that are available on Windows Phone Marketplace. Apps that require more power will be flagged on Windows Marketplace such that user does not download the app that won't run well. The Windows Phone OS now supports a lower cost processor, the Qualcomm 7x27a “system on a chip”, and runs seamlessly on reduced memory (256MB onboard memory). Taking advantage of this expanded hardware support, Nokia has announced the new Nokia Lumia 610, while ZTE will be launching their ZTE Orbit in selected market in Q2 this year.
The Windows Phone will also have Southeast Asia language support – Malay and Indonesian. The Windows Phone marketplace will also be launched in 23 other countries including China, Thailand and Vietnam, providing more opportunities to new developers.