Web Based Skype Client in Beta

(Image: Skype)

United States and United Kingdom users of Microsoft’s Skype can now use their favorite communication service with having to download any application. The service, which is called Skype for Web was developed from customer feedback that stated users wanted the ability to call and instant message people from Skype’s website. The Client retains both IM and video/audio call functionality and is now in open beta which is announced by the company today.

If you are already a Skype user just sign into Skype for Web and all your conversations and contacts as you left them in the application. Whether you used Skype on your smartphone, tablet, desktop app or even your TV it will all be ready for you when you log in to Skype for Web.  This approach will be especially valuable when your away from home and need the use of a foreign device.

Skype for Web beta is available for Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer but strangely does not work on Chromebooks. Windows or OS X operating systems are also required, and a plug-in needs to be installed to get voice and video calling working.

Jonathan Watson, Skype’s senior product marketing manager wrote on the Company’s blog “Skype for Web is an important step for Skype as we move towards implementing the technology to make Real-Time Communications (RTC for short) on the web a reality,”  He also state “Skype for Web is perfect if you normally use Skype on your mobile, but want to quickly get your calls and IMs on a bigger screen. Or perhaps you’re sitting at a Windows or Mac computer in an Internet cafe or hotel that doesn’t already have Skype downloaded.”

Ever since Microsoft acquired Skype in an almost $9 billion acquisition back in 2011 they have been steadily releasing updates for the service. These include enhancements to the service for smartphone users on iOS and Android and Skype 4.0 with Samsung and their smart TVs.  For the launch of the Skype for Web beta the company has improved the way users search for groups and people on the Skype service.

Instead of two separate lists for contacts and recent conversations for a user, a single searchable list was introduced. Another new feature notifications for Skype for Web is a feature users will need to enable when they log in for the first time so the do not miss incoming instant messages, audio or video calls. This feature will work even if the user is viewing a different browser window or are currently using another app.

If you want to try out the new Skype for Web beta, head on over to Skype.com