Last year Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 Billion. After a year of waiting, Microsoft has finally released a beta version (5.11) of its Skype PC client that integrates your Skype account with your Microsoft (Live/Hotmail) account, along with Facebook.

To make it work, you’ll have to log out of your Skype account (assuming you have it automatically log you in), then sign in with your Microsoft Account and select the option to link the accounts together. Doing so will also merge your Skype contacts into your Outlook.com/Live/Hotmail contacts.

One thing to note is that there doesn’t appear a way to link your contacts together within the app. Even though I have them linked in my Outlook.com account, they still show up as separate contacts within Skype. So, for example, if I have a contact with a Skype account, a Facebook account, and a Live Messenger account, they’ll show up 3 times in my contact list. This isn’t a huge deal, just a small inconvenience which will hopefully be fixed in a later release.

You can download the beta version here.

Microsoft has also said that they will be integrating Skype into the online messaging of Outlook.com, and also Windows Phone.