Using the Windows Live Call button with Skype and other applications

Like a lot of people reading this, I’ve invested in various Microsoft headsets and webcams (some pretty good, some disappointing) but one thing in common with all of them is that they have a Windows Live Call button.

Out of the box and the software installed, pressing the button with bring up Windows Live Messenger’s contact list so you can start a call with your contacts.  Which is great for some people, but for me, the vast majority of my calls are made and received on Skype nowadays and the button has remained unused.

Introducing Skype Call Button
So, I created Skype Call Button.  Skype Call Button remaps the Windows Live Call button to operate with Skype or any other application you choose.  Additionally, when you receive a call in Skype, you can answer the call by just pressing the button.  I’ve been testing this functionality for over a month now, and being able just to throw my headset on and press the button to answer a call has vastly made life easier.

Installation
Click the download link below and run the executable to begin the installation.  The setup wizard will guide you through the necessary steps to install Skype Call Button.  After installation is complete, you will be prompted to unplug and plug your headset or webcam back in.  Alternatively if that isn’t possible, you can just reboot your computer or just continue on.  If you choose to just continue, both Messenger and Skype will appear when you press the button until you restart.  Finally, you will then need to authorize Skype Call Button to be used in your Skype client by opening up the main Skype window and choosing the Allow access button or in previous versions, choose Allow this program to use Skype radio button and choose OK.  This only needs to be done once.

Using and options
Skype Call Button will appear in the notification area and by default will automatically start up with your computer to monitor calls.  To access the options, just double-click on the icon. 

You can configure what Skype Call Button does when you press the button normally and what happens when you press the button during an incoming call.  Skype Call Button supports Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Call, and Office Communicator and you can switch the button to work in another application when you choose to.

Additionally, if you choose to not show the notification area icon, you can still access the options by choosing Skype Call Button from the Windows start menu.

Requirements
Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
Both 32-bit or 64-bit supported
.NET Framework 2.0 or higher (checked during setup)
At least Lifechat 1.3 or Lifecam 2.0 (checked during setup)
Skype

Download Skype Call Button

Version history:
6/2/2009  1.0.0.0  Initial Release

Posted on June 2, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. The Skype call button works well. The one request I have is that it inhibit the page that pops up when windows live messenger logs in "Welcome to the Windows Live™ Device Manager Download" or the button is pushed.

  2. Thanks for this it works great

  3. Hi, I\’ve just bought Microsofts LifeCam VX-3000. It looks like it comes with Lifecam software version 1.4 so i guess your programme isn\’t compatible? Do you know whether I can use version 2 with this camera (hoplessly notageekatall)

  4. We are using Windows 2003 Terminal Server – We have an entire company that is not working due to the "FORCED UPGRADE". When we start the client, the IM client starts, shows the user "FRIENDS" list, and advertising starts listing…then it suddenly disappears, leaving only an icon on the tray…when you go to the icon, the icon disappears as well. We are using 8.5, which is still on the XP/2003 track. I tried using MSNGRCOMPAT.EXE, but that does not help. I have an entire company down. Please, any suggestions.??

  5. I\’m getting the following when trying to bring up the options:See the end of this message for details on invoking just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.************** Exception Text **************System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at SkypeCallButton.CheckApps.CheckAppPathandExists(String exe) at SkypeCallButton.CheckApps.Check(String exe, String pathexe) at SkypeCallButton.frmMain.frmMain_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnLoad(EventArgs e) at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnCreateControl() at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl(Boolean fIgnoreVisible) at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl() at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmShowWindow(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.ScrollableControl.WndProc(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.ContainerControl.WndProc(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.Form.WmShowWindow(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.Form.WndProc(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.OnMessage(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)************** Loaded Assemblies **************mscorlib Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0 Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3082 (QFE.050727-3000) CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll—————————————-SkypeCallButton Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0 Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0 CodeBase: file:///C:/Program%20Files/Jonathan%20Kay/Skype%20Call%20Button/SkypeCallButton.exe—————————————-System.Windows.Forms Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0 Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000) CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Windows.Forms.dll—————————————-System Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0 Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000) CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.dll—————————————-System.Drawing Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0 Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000) CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Drawing.dll—————————————-Interop.SKYPE4COMLib Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0 Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0 CodeBase: file:///C:/Program%20Files/Jonathan%20Kay/Skype%20Call%20Button/Interop.SKYPE4COMLib.DLL—————————————-System.Xml Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0 Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3082 (QFE.050727-3000) CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Xml.dll—————————————-************** JIT Debugging **************To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for thisapplication or computer (machine.config) must have thejitDebugging value set in the system.windows.forms section.The application must also be compiled with debuggingenabled.For example:<configuration> <system.windows.forms jitDebugging="true" /></configuration>When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exceptionwill be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computerrather than be handled by this dialog box.If I continue, the options are all set back to defaults

  6. Fantastic little app. Works perfectly on Vista. Thanks! Regards, Phill Coleman, Yuuguu Dev.

  7. Great JOB!!!

  8. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I found this via a skype forum that was discussing haking the call button on the Lifecam Show. I am not experienced with hacking at all, and couldn\’t find the path, so I kept digging and found this. WORKS PERFECTLY!! I HATE windows messenger, and only really use skype. This is exactly what I was trying to get it to do. Thanks again.-Rob

  9. Hi

    The download doesn’t work. Can you re-up?

    Thanks!

  10. Thank you!!

  11. Thank you, this tool is a life saver. I am glad I do not have to dig through my registry to do this hack (mod).

  12. Great application, thanks for this. I’m using it in conjunction with a compiled-to-exe script which executes the hotkey combination to focus Cisco IP Communicator and start/end a call, so it’s usefulness isn’t limited to Skype!

  13. Elizabeth Brown

    Thank you so much for this. My daughter is about to go off to school, and Skype is the only way we are going to be able to see each other every day. This helps me a lot, since the camera I have defaults to mute every time I reboot my machine. You’ve fixed that for me, too!

  14. Thank you so much for the app, works great. Im using this for my elderly parents so it makes it a bit easier for them. Great work, and thanks again.

    Was hoping it would have an option to answer calls with video right away, that would be amazing.

    • Greetings Al. Ah, I admit I don’t use Skype that often with video myself so I never thought to add that in. I’ve added it to my list of features for the next release (whenever I get to finishing that).

      Also, nice to hear of great uses for this, I appreciate it :p

      • I too would be interested in an option to answer with video. This would help out my grandparents tremendously!

        Are you still developing a new release, or pretty much just leaving it as is?

        The answer with voice works great!

        • Wow, I’m really pleased people find this useful.

          But yes, a new release is pending actually with a few bug fixes and some small features I’ve done over the years, like the video option. This still needs some testing but I’m thinking some time near the end of the month or beginning of the next hopefully.

          • Any news on the answer with video option? Thanks!

            • Well I’ve been debating this myself recently because Microsoft has announced they’re discontinuing allowing software to access Skype (officially anyway) by the end of this year, which means no more add-ons or additional software will work. In other words, if you continue to update Skype, the Call Button software will just stop working one day in the near future. Luckily Call Button isn’t that complex Skype-wise there may be some trickery that may get around this, but it might be difficult to keep working. Alternatively, I could just force users to use older versions. What would be your preference going forward?

  15. As soon as I saw that “only works with Microsoft” guff I just knew a bright person somewhere would have resolved it. Well done, sir!

  16. Please help me, I bought LX-6000 and my Call Button is not working, tried your software and it doesn’t help. I have windows 8 x64. Are you still working on updating this?

    • Greetings. Yes, Call Button is in need of some love. However, before I go spending hours researching this, can you be more specific as to what doesn’t work? I’m assuming based on your question that on its own, pressing the button does not work – that is, Messenger doesn’t come up (although you’ll need to install a Messenger client first presumably). Any error messages that appear would be great to know as well.

      Also, as a follow-up question – do you actually use the LX-6000 for audio calls in general? Due to a series of unfortunate events, I actually own two of them and I find them the quality completely unusable.

    • When pressing the button nothing happens, on the box says windows 8 ready, skype certified, blabla. That button was made to answer calls, I’m using Skype latest version. Thank you!

      • Well I was able to confirm that out of the box with the LifeChat software the button doesn’t appear to do anything for me on Windows 8, but installing Skype Call Button still works to make the button do something. I am however using Windows 8 32-bit to test and a LX3000, I’ll perhaps try 64-bit and charge of a LX6000 later however I can see no real reason why it would be any different in this case.

        I realize this sounds ridiculous but you do have both the LifeChat and Skype Call Button installed? And you rebooted after installation (or unplugged and plugged back in the wireless receiver)?
        Also, based on your IP address, are you using the Italian version of Windows?

  17. Jonathan :
    Well I was able to confirm that out of the box with the LifeChat software the button doesn’t appear to do anything for me on Windows 8, but installing Skype Call Button still works to make the button do something. I am however using Windows 8 32-bit to test and a LX3000, I’ll perhaps try 64-bit and charge of a LX6000 later however I can see no real reason why it would be any different in this case.
    I realize this sounds ridiculous but you do have both the LifeChat and Skype Call Button installed? And you rebooted after installation (or unplugged and plugged back in the wireless receiver)?
    Also, based on your IP address, are you using the Italian version of Windows?

    damn, fuck microsoft, tried teh button in a virtual machine with windows 7 x64 and same, the light on the button works but the button does nothing.

  18. Any news?

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