With the recently announced deal between Microsoft and Skype, the software giant has made it clear that it intends to stake its claim in the smartphone and media tablet markets.

When it was introduced late last year, Microsoft's mobile operating system Windows Phone 7 received mixed reviews and a cloudy forecast. However, in light of a recent partnership with Nokia, that trend has reversed, with more industry analysts predicting a bright future for the OS.

This latest deal with Skype would only seem to help Microsoft's chances, as it puts it squarely in line to compete with Apple and its FaceTime video calling service. Skype is already the largest internet telephony company in the world, and, combined with Microsoft's far-reaching influence, the two companies could be poised to make some noise.

"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a statement. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world."

As Microsoft and Skype begin to roll out new services, consumers can undoubtedly expect new mobile phone accessories to surface as well. Many consumers have found smartphone accessories, such as Bluetooth earpieces, can enhance the convenience of their mobile devices.