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Microsoft 'to replace Xbox Live voice chat with Skype'

Comms services to be consolidated across suite of Microsoft devices

Microsoft will place Skype at the centre of a whole suite of online-capable communication devices, CVG has learned.

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A person familiar with the matter said Microsoft will be "consolidating all their communications technology" around the Skype platform. This means that Skype will become the default chat service on the next generation Xbox console as well as on PC and tablets, the person said.

He added: "You might jump to the conclusion that we'll see asynchronous voice and video messages in next-gen Xbox Live".

Microsoft's $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype in 2011 was marked as the software giant's largest ever acquisition in its forty year history. The corporation has since opened its own Skype division within Microsoft, headed up by Skype's former Chief executive Tony Bates.

In November, Microsoft announced it was preparing to close its instant message chat service MSN and replace it with Skype's messaging tool.

A recent job advertisement revealed Microsoft was seeking a user interface designer for the "next gen Xbox". The job location was said to be at Microsoft's UK-based Skype offices.

"The team you'll join is responsible for Skype in the living room (broadly the home), across various devices but with a focus on the large screen and the next generation of Xbox," the job ad reads.

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