Outlook.com with Skype offers a delicious pairing

For a lot of people today, email is a constant companion. First thing in the morning or late at night, in the office, at the library or on the beach, email keeps us connected to friends, family and contacts.

But sometimes, you just want to talk face to face. Now, users of Outlook.com can do that too, with the announcement that the service’s integration with Skype is rolling out worldwide. Outlook.com users just need to install the Skype Web plug-in and they can begin using Skype to video call with their contacts today — right from their Outlook.com inbox. Once updated, the user’s Skype contacts are always just a click away.

“Email is an inherently personal thing,” says Dawn Martynuik, group product marketing manager for Outlook.com. “So we work hard to make sure that Outlook.com works with the things you already use, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and now Skype. If you love Skype, you’re going to love using Outlook.com for your email and having the ability to video chat with your friends any time.”

To celebrate the announcement, Martynuik’s team is pairing with television food critic and author Gail Simmons to offer a recipe contest with a top prize that Simmons’ foodie fans can really sink their teeth into — an exclusive video chat with the celebrity chef using the new Skype functionality in Outlook.com.

“With the announcement of Skype for Outlook.com we wanted to do something special,” says Martynuik. “One of the things we know our customers are passionate about is food, so we thought that hosting a contest with Gail would be a great fit.”

With a busy schedule that keeps her on the road filming new episodes and attending food festivals much of the time, Simmons recognizes the importance of keeping in touch while traveling.

“I’m traveling for work all the time, and staying in touch with my husband, family and friends is so important, not to mention keeping up-to-date at my office,” Simmons says. “Sometimes a face-to-face conversation on Skype is much better than an email or text. I’m excited that I can now video call on Skype from within my email inbox with Outlook.com. I use it for work meetings as well as to check in with my loved ones no matter where I am in the world.”

The contest will involve a set list of ingredients from which contestants must build a recipe. In addition to the grand prize, for every submission to the contest, Outlook.com will donate $10 to Common Threads, one of Simmons’ favorite charities that promotes healthy eating and cooking skills for children. During the prize-winning chat session, Simmons will prepare the winning recipe for a group of kids selected by the charity.

“Being a part of this team to raise awareness for Common Threads is amazing,” says Simmons. “It’s a wonderful program — we’ll be raising money for an important cause, and I’ll get to chat on Skype for Outlook.com with the winner while making the winning recipe with kids from Common Threads.”

For more details on the Common Threads recipe contest, please visit chow.com/outlook. To start using video chat within your email inbox today, try Outlook.com.

You might also be interested in:

Microsoft News Center Staff