Consumers who upgrade to Windows 8.1 will find Skype already part of the package.

Microsoft confirmed Thursday that Skype will be included in Windows 8.1 right from the get-go. In a blog announcing the news, Microsoft emphasized its theme of connecting and sharing:

"We believe that connecting and sharing should be a seamless part of every Windows experience. Over 300 million people today use Skype for the most personal connections in their lives, sharing those everyday moments big and small across messaging, audio and video calling. With Windows 8.1, Skype is included right from (the) Start, making your new Windows device the best way to stay close and connected."

Reports had already surfaced that Skype would be built into Windows 8.1, replacing the Windows 8 Messaging app. Leaked earlier this week, the latest Windows 8.1 build includes a preinstalled Skype.

Microsoft said it received valuable feedback on the Skype for Windows 8 app and promises to listen to feedback about the Windows 8.1 version.