Microsoft have launched to beta version of their upcoming Skype for Web feature, which aims at transforming Skype into an accessible messenger service even on platforms which don’t have the program installed. For the moment, access to the program is restricted to users from the United States and United Kingdom, but worldwide access to the service will be implemented later on.
Skype for Web eliminates the necessity of having the Skype program/app installed and instead makes the service accessible entirely through an internet browser. Both existing and non-existing Skype users in the US and UK can access it now, only requiring a log-in on the service’s website. Existing users can enter their current Skype ID and password, while those who don’t have one can sign-up for free.
“As we explained at the end of last year, Skype for Web is an important step for Skype as we move towards implementing the technology to make Real-Time Communications (RTC) on the web a reality. But just as importantly, we’re doing it because the hundreds of millions of people that visit Skype.com every month told us they want to call and IM when they visit our website. We know how critical it is for you to get to your conversations – and Skype for Web helps you get connected anytime” said Microsoft senior product marketing manager Jonathan Watson in the blog post which announced the start of the beta.
Technically, this will allow users who don’t have the program installed on a device to seamlessly access and talk with anyone who does, presenting most of the features regarding instant messaging or video calling. However, for the moment users who wish to chat using the web service will first need to download and install a plug-in before they can do so.
Skype will continue to sync all the conversations and data throughout the account, meaning that you will be able to access them through any instance of the service; be it web-based, desktop client or phone app. The web version will also discreetly offer on-screen notifications any time you receive a message or video call. At the moment, it is designed to work on the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, while also being available for Safari versions 6 or higher for Mac users.
Image Source: Skype.com