Microsoft have released a preview of the new version of Skype for Windows Phone 8. The app includes background notifications so you can receive calls and messages with out having the app loaded.
As with the new Windows Skype app you can sign in with a Skype ID or a Microsoft account, I have just given it a test and it works as Microsoft say it does. You get toast notifications when you get a chat message and you get a an incoming call screen when you get a Skype call. In my brief tests it seems to work well, video and audio calls worked fine.
The app is free from the Windows Phone store
Skype for Windows Phone 8 Preview Make free Skype to Skype video and voice calls as well as send instant messages to friends and family around the world with this preview of Skype for Windows Phone 8. **THIS IS A PREVIEW RELEASE, EXPERIENCES ARE NOT YET FINAL** What’s New: - See all your Skype contacts in the People Hub and start a conversation with just a tap - Sign in with your Microsoft Account and IM with your Messenger buddies - Even when the app is closed, you’ll begin to receive some call and message notifications so you can respond right away (under development) “NOTE: Some capabilities listed above are work-in-progress and may not function consistently. This includes, but is not limited to: call reliability and the ability to receive incoming calls and chat notifications when outside of the app.” Features: - Call friends and family with free Skype to Skype voice calls over 3G* or WiFi - Make free video calls to anyone else on Skype - Make low cost calls to mobiles and landlines - Send IMs or group IMs System requirements: - Skype for Windows Phone 8 requires Windows Phone 8 - To ensure the best quality experience, Skype for Windows Phone requires a minimum of 512MB of memory For the best Skype experience, we recommend using an unlimited data plan or a WiFi connection. Want to know more? Visit Skype for Windows Phone: http://skype.com/go/windowsphone