Microsoft welcomes Skype from browser
Users will soon be able to use Skype from a browser — without having to download anything. Microsoft announced on Friday that it will soon launch a web-based version of the video-conferencing platform. The new version of Skype, which is still in beta, allows users to log in to their existing accounts from Skype’s website when using Chome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer. Instant messaging is supported as soon as you log in, but voice and video calls require the extra step of installing a browser plugin, although Microsoft says this additional step will only be a temporary necessity.
“In the future, using Skype on the web will become even easier and convenient,” the company wrote Friday in a blog post. “Imagine you wanted to meet your child’s teacher, or conduct an online interview with a potential candidate — you’ll be able to chat over Skype directly from a browser in just a click.”
Given that the service is still in beta, it’s worth pointing out there are several issues with Skype’s current web-based version. Microsoft notes that Mac users may experience an “issue with battery consumption,” and outgoing video calls may take longer than normal to connect for all web users.
Microsoft is rolling out the service to a limited number of users “in the coming months,” with a larger rollout to follow. The company did not say how many users would be part of the initial phase, but those who are selected will see invitations when they log in to their Skype account from Skype.com.