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Skype Heading for Next Xbox, Job Listing Suggests

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When Microsoft bought Skype everyone seemingly scratched their heads and wondered what Microsoft would do with the internet video calling service.

Well, according to a new job listing, Microsoft is planning to make the service the centrepiece of all communications for the next Xbox.

The job listing calls for a lead program manager to help bring in-game video and voice services to their next console. From the jobs specs it could be that Microsoft is going to ditch the current voice chat system and make gamers use an internal version of Skype for all future communication within Xbox Live and beyond.

The job spec goes into further detail, declaring the Xbox as a “fundamental lynchpin’ of Skype’s intention to conquer the living room. The posting says: “Skype is working on powering real-time voice and video communications on the Xbox. Xbox is a fundamental lynchpin of Skype’s living-room strategy, and we are focused on enabling amazing new in-game and in-console voice and video experiences for the next generation of Xbox.

“This is a crucial initiative for Xbox, and it is time-critical given the hardware lead times involved.”

Quite what in-game actually means remains unclear; it might mean gamers will be able to watch each others reactions and actions when playing multiplayer games via Kinect, or it could be as simple as allowing users from both services to speak to one another via Skype or an Xbox.

Microsoft paid a lot of money (£5.42 billion) for the world’s leading VoIP service last year and subsequently hasn’t really done anything of any merit with it since.

It has, of course, released the Windows Phone App which apart from the Metro lick of paint isn’t actually much different to the Android and iPhone offerings. Although you can expect deeper Skype integration with Windows Phone Apollo which is coming later this year.

Judging from today’s posting, it’s now obvious that the Xbox was a key factor in Microsoft’s decision to fork out a fortune on Skype.

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

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