Microsoft, Skype’s parent company, just unshackled its text and video application from the desktop. Meet Skype for Web, a new beta offering that makes the service available in various Internet browsers.
The test service allows users to chat without downloading a bulky desktop program. According to the Skype blog, users can access it by navigating to Skype.com with Internet Explorer, Chrome on Windows, Firefox or Safari, and sign in.
Mac users may notice a glaring omission: Chrome for Mac or Google’s Chromebook computers. That may seem like a business decision by Microsoft, however; it’s apparently a technical limitation. A spokesperson told ZDNet that “Chromebook owners can use Skype for Web for IM, but the plug-in required for voice and video calls hasn’t been configured for that device so it isn’t currently supported.”
For now, the plugin is mandatory for Skype for Web, but that will change in time. The company plans to implement Web RTC (Real-Time Communications), a key technology that will bake Skype into the browser, no plugins necessary.
The service holds a few other bugs for Mac users, including battery consumption issues and delays in which calls can take longer to ring. According to the Skype blog, these are known problems that the company continues to work on.
Photo courtesy of Skype