Windows 8 appears to include phone/video calling capabilities

By Tom Warren, on 18th Sep 11 9:21 am with 15 Comments

Windows 8 call tile

Various references to phone calling in Windows 8 have been discovered in official Microsoft demonstrations this week.

Microsoft speakers let the feature slip in a variety of sessions at the company’s BUILD conference. Jensen Harris revealed the “call” tile during his big picture session on Tuesday. The call tile appears to have a video icon associated with it, hinting that the feature might be the rumored video chat function discovered in early leaked builds of Windows 8. Long Zheng also discovered a missed calls tile during Kip Olson’s tiles and notifications talk on Thursday.

Missed call tile

Zheng also notes that Microsoft shows off a detailed contact card view during its People hub Windows Live demo.

Windows 8 people calling

All three appearances seem to suggest that Windows 8 will include the ability to call and video chat with other Windows 8 users. References to a “Chatter” video service were discovered in early leaked builds of Windows 8. The references match up to the fact that Microsoft shows off a camera notification on the lock screen of some of its promotional materials for Windows 8.If Microsoft is building its own video calling service then it’s likely in response to Apple’s FaceTime product. Chatter could be used to unify several video calling services already available from Microsoft’s products and provide one easy route for Windows users to communicate over several Microsoft owned platforms. Microsoft purchased Skype in early May for $8.5 billion. The company says Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Chatter could be the unification of said services. It’s also possible that the references are to an experimental feature, created before Microsoft’s Skype deal.

Image Credit: Long Zheng

  • Vladan

    I love Windows 8. Period.

  • Elvin

    gogo skype!

  • Hassan Ali

    Remember Apple sucks because it has not donated even a single pie while Microsoft donated billions to charities.

    • türkgü_cccü

      *Bill Gates* donated billions to charities.
      But Apple still sucks.

  • alexzzz

    Could this be something like skype instead of an actuall phone mode?

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking the same, but if it has got anything to do with calls I’d love if Microsoft mimiced what Palm/HP did with the Touchpad-Pre linking functionality… my mother got a Touchpad/Pre combo during the firesale and despite my skepticism it’s really quite nice.

    • Jinge

      I would like it to be skype + phone synchronization! Would be great if we could have our WP on silent mode, and getting notifications on the computer while working!

  • Jinge

    I would guess it is the skype integration… Hope they are going to release interesting prices too.

  • Penta2100

    YES!!!!!!! YESS!!!!!!! I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FEATURE ALL MY LIFE!!!!!! Now, to see what it looks like…

  • Benjy91

    Remember the video symbol and a number by it on the leaked lock screens in the past, notification of missed calls from the lock screen?

  • Chris M

    Could also be the missed call indicator that Lync currently has if you have unified messaging.

  • Anonymous

    that would be nice. people say it might be skype or messenger, lync. but what if it had phone capabilities, specially since rumor says you could install this OS in phones. just as you get skype or something, it would be nice to have the option of a big phone… giant phone. so you can call someone even if they dont have skype or something

  • Anonymous

    I think it will be a Call Hub (similiar in feature to WP7 hubs), wherein all types of call functionality will be aggregated; be it Skype, Linc, Messenger, Web, etc This is the New Windows, Why Limit Yourself?!

    • Chris

      Communication hub? 

  • Anonymous

    Imagine an IP Lync Phone that is compatible with windows 8, your live contacts, messenger, and skype!