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article imageMicrosoft expands beta of Skype for Web

By James Walker     Mar 26, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft has launched a beta of Skype for Web. The new website will allow users to access Skype from any web browser, removing the issue of being unable to use the popular communication program on computers where it is not installed.
The website allows for simple text messaging like the Skype desktop app but also full voice and video calls. A browser plugin has to be installed for this to work but it is still much easier to install than the full Skype program.
The interface looks much the same as Skype on the desktop and Skype's mobile apps. Contacts appear in a sidebar while the chat interface has the majority of the window. During calls, a large overlay appears to show the current contact's profile picture and provide access to the mute mic, disable camera and end call buttons.
The website seems very responsive to use and the buttons are sized sensibly. They should be easy to use on touch devices but aren't so large as to feel ridiculous with a mouse.
The site could become popular with people who need frequent access to Microsoft's popular communication program while away from their own computer. People who use public computers in libraries or cafes will appreciate being able to access Skype online while office workers will be able to communicate with friends and family without pulling out their smartphone.
Skype messages can already be sent and received within Microsoft's Outlook.com email app but the new website makes it possible to make and receive voice and video calls for the first time, expanding Microsoft's growing list of services that are accessible from the web.
Skype for Web is currently a beta and there is no word on when it will become available to the general public. Beta invites have been sent out to some people but many others have been able to use it successfully without being told they could.
You can try and access Skype for Web with this link. If you are lucky, you may be able to try it out and become one of the first to experience the latest way to use Skype.
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