Skype gets Cortana integration, smart bots and a HoloLens app

Microsoft announced some big news for Skype at its BUILD developer conference on Wednesday. The mobile app is getting Cortana support and intelligent bots that let you carry out various activities from inside Skype. The company also announced a brand new version of the service designed specifically for HoloLens, its augmented reality headset.

Once the update hits, you’ll be able to interact with Cortana within Skype, and the company’s AI will also help facilitate conversations between third-party bots. For example, a bot from the Westin Hotel chain can help you book a room for your next trip from inside Skype. The update should be available on iOS, Android and Windows starting today.

Microsoft is also offering a platform for developers to build their own Skype bots. You can sign up now to make your own, and the company is even organizing global Skype Bot Hackathons starting in May.

Pretty amazing Cortana talking in Skype to user, then paging hotel chatbot as needed

— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) March 30, 2016

Microsoft also took the opportunity to unveil Skype for HoloLens. The holographic app displays an image of whoever you’re talking to into your field of vision. The person you’re communicating with can also see what you’re looking at, and even sketch images on top of the real world.

Microsoft clearly has big plans for Skype. The service is quickly transforming into both a futuristic video chatting app and a canvas for intelligent third-party apps. Skype already has an audience of millions, which should hopefully keep developers interested as it continues to improve.

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