Microsoft isn't just content to work on a universal Skype app -- it has much bigger plans in store. It's developing a version of Skype for HoloLens that, as you'd expect, lets you chat and collaborate with friends using the augmented reality headset. Its exact functionality isn't clear yet, but the allure is clear: you can hold a hands-free video chat while you're walking around the room. Needless to say, that's helpful if you're working on a group project or have your hands full with other tasks. Don't worry if you can't drop $3,000 on a HoloLens unit to try it out, though, as there's plenty coming for regular users.
The team is bringing artificial intelligence to Skype in a big way. You'll have access to the Cortana personal assistant on Android, iOS and Windows, to begin with. It's much like Facebook's M and other conversational helpers: you can ask her to send directions, order food, or even connect to other bots (such as, say, customer service). Support for chat bots is being woven into Skype itself, on that note, so companies can serve you through AI messaging when it's convenient. You should have access to bots in Skype today, and there's a bot developer kit to help programmers get started.
Get all the news from today's Microsoft Build keynote right here!