When Windows 8.1 makes its appearance on 18 October, it will include one feature that previously had to be downloaded separately as an app: Skype.
Microsoft announced the "Skype from the Start" plan in a blog post this morning. Given that it purchased Skype back in May 2011, in some ways it's surprising that it didn't pursue this plan with the original release of Windows 8.
I imagine that in many corporate environments Skype will be removed from the standard system image, though increasing efforts have been made in recent months to tighten integration between Skype and Microsoft's Lync platform. As a Skype user, I'd rather Microsoft focused on making the actual Windows 8 client more useful — it's a prime example of how the Modern interface makes many tasks harder by burying options and making everything too large.
Skype Joins the Windows 8.1 Start Screen Line-Up [Skype Big Blog]