Skip to main content

Microsoft has unveiled Skype for Web, a browser-based version of the VOIP service. Currently in beta, Skype for Web functions just like its native desktop counterpart, with voice and video calling and text messaging. The beta is available for Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox on Windows, and Safari 6.0 or later on OS X.

In order to use the Skype for Web beta, you will need to download a plug-in before your first call, although Microsoft is working on removing this requirement at some point in the future. Being a beta, there are some issues present in this initial form. Known issues include increased battery consumption on OS X, as well as increased time to connect when placing an outgoing video call.

Invites for the beta will roll out over the next few months. Some new and existing Skype users are already receiving theirs. To check your invite status, simply sign in with your Skype account on the Skype website.

Source: Skype (opens in new tab)

65 Comments
  • Meh!
  • Ditto.
  • This^^
  • It's a good decision. More ways for consumers to access the service. More revenue for Microsoft
  • WebRTC is a technology which brings native realtime communication support in browser. IE team needs to roll out WebRTC soon, then we won't even have plugin dependency too! Please vote: https://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/257854-internet-explorer-platform/suggestions/6508336-webrtc-webrtc-v1-0-api Currently Chrome, Opera and Firefox support it. See https://status.modern.ie/webrtcwebrtcv10api#webrtcwebrtcv10api. Also, note that the one under development by IE team is ObjectRTC which is not what other vendors have started to implement yet. So we need WebRTC before ObjectRTC, because the former has more demand and other browsers have it! A well-known Microsoft's reciprocal logic! but can't complain much, since they are implementing W3C standard (just in wrong order).  So please raise voice on usevoice. (-8
  • Isn't it CU-RTC that Microsoft wants? They don't want WebRTC as it just means wrapping Googles "open" VP8 etc codecs. Microsoft want a protocal to do call setup etc, but then make the codecs "insertable" because a) it means codecs don't have to be Googles b) over time, codecs improve, so rather than re-write the whole stack you can just update the codecs Sounds very sensible to me. But as usual, vested intersts and politics get in the way of advancement. We need a plugin free web, but video/voice collaboration needs to be baked in. Even to things like the Metro IE. We will get there. It has too.
  • Can this be used on wp??
  • Hmm, cool!
  • Depends. Does it have hiDPI support? Skype is laughably nonexistent with that. Given that it's in a browser, it might actually work.
  • Skype does have hiDPI support, but only for Entertainment channels.  I can see them bringing this eventually to consumer.
  • So... What's the point of this new Skype?
  • Say for example you're in a web café and you want to Skype with your family, you won't be able to install Skype onto their systems. Or if you're at a friends house, or you'd prefer not to install the client onto your system etc.
  • or you have a chromebook :(
  • Or you own a café worth about 20 PC, you don't have to install Skype on all of them
    But will it affect my privacy, my password and email
  • I would like to add that this will keep everyone updated to the latest version of Skype. Looking at you, Linux.
  • ^
  • What's the point?
  • More people
  • This.
  • Whats the point of this new Skype for web (desktop)?
  • Makes it more accessible to people. Using a friend's computer, web cafe, using it on the computers at the Apple or Microsoft Stores, etc.
  • Or at work!
  • That means it finally can be access by chromebooks?
  • May be u r right
  • This is a good question.... Think I'll try this out to see if any thing restricts this. Would make sense that it works this way
  • Ah yes, dedicate more time to Skype, while the windows phone team scratch their balls the whole day using their androids and laughing about us, the stupid WP consumers who they know will stay a little more time with them no matter what... At least until my 920 stops working
  • What a shame.
  • Lol +920
  • Lol!
  • Right because only one person works on every product.  They have multiple teams for each product, and each differentiaion of their products.  This only will only bring more flexibility and more users to Skype.
  • Though I'm not agreeing this really made me laugh xad
  • Microsoft is really busy for a while, well good luck for them, hope they will make their product on par or even better than the competition
  • Not happening
  • It's obvious you have to wait to Windows 10 for that... remember, 1 app will run on every device, so why would you go crazy adding stuff you won't support in some months? we don't even know if they already have a working skype win10 version universal app. we really don't.... but it's obvious Windows 10 has ruined many plans, make some other slow, and start new things for MS... that's why it's a great new release.
  • This means you don't need to download and install the desktop version...because there are computers with administrative restricted access for installing software...so you can directly video call from the browser itself...really helpful...didnt realise the importance of these default browser systems until I used the systems in our college..
  • But the plugin...
  • If it has HiDPI support? The desktop Skype looks blurry on my surface pro 3 so I might just use this
  • Skype has HD calling on my SP3.  It depends on the user's webcam quality too (I have a LifeCam HD and my gf has a HD Logitech one).
  • No, no, HiDPI deals with the interface.
  • This is very nice
  • Meanwhile, whatsapp is moving for the kill
  • There's no point in doing this?
  • Microsoft changed their branding from Microsoft Soon to Microsoft Beta.
  • Eeeh, I can already do that anyways! Of I logon with my outlook account I can use Skype from there or have I been dreaming all this time?
  • This is diffeent, it's a full-page Skype that you don't have to be on Outlook to use. It also allows them to update it faster, since it isn't tied to Outlook.com
  • This won't require a plug-in, and is a full Skype experience.   I can see this being integrated in Outlook.com eventually and added to the App switcher.
  • Can you video call from your outllook account?
  • Yes, you can if you install the necessary plugin.
  • How? This would be really useful! Edit:Nevermind, I worked it out, thanks anyway! Edit 2:It's not really 'within the browser', I thought it would be similar to google hangouts which just opens a new tab, oh well.
  • I mean, instead of investing developer resources, how about we pay other developers on other platforms to develop apps for Windows - since that is the number # 1 gripe of every single person ever on any web forum, or tech site review for either Windows 8.1/Windows Phone 8.1
  • "We" (Microsoft) tried that early on. It actually disincentives developers from developing because now developers wait for a handout from Microsoft to start developing...
  • This will help to expand their user base... hopefully they will also improve the messaging part and make the app faster
  • I just want to say that the interface shown there is what the Skype metro app should emulate, when in full screen mode.  I don't understand why they wouldn't show a contact list at the side when chatting with someone.
  • They need to learn. No plugin HTML5 only
  • It's coming...
  • In the article I read, Microsoft is working to remove the plug-in requirement.
  • i had to turn off skype from running in the background due to its power consumption rate on my WP8 lumia 920.
  • There's always "that guy" who had to uninstall/disable "that app" due to battery. Rarely have I found it to be true. I have Skype on multiple windows phones with no issue. My favorites are always the guys that claim that battery monitoring apps kill their battery... right, because an app that wakes up every 10 min, checks the battery, and then is shut down by the OS can do that... Just rumors.
  • Damn all I saw was Microsoft release beta version on sky and I was hoping it was going to carry on with sky go damn you sky tv
  • I don't think 'launches' is the correct word for the headline. It's not out yet.
  • Finally lol !! Been looking for this :)
  • It's useful when you're on a PC without Skype or someone is already signed. Like PCs in University.
  • Let's hope its better than the current desktop preview.
  • This will be great for business.  Good move MS.
  • This might be great when you are at a client where you can't install Skype (my case at the moment). I have to make do with outlook.com integrated chat or other 3rd party applications.. I hope I can install the plugin, I just can't get Skype through the client's security measures