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Microsoft unveils browser-based Skype for Web

Skype has just announced a brand new version of its communication service for your internet browser – Skype for Web.

The Microsoft-owned firm has launched a new browser plug-in that will give you Skype functionality without having to download and install the Skype program proper.

It’s also important mention that Skype for Web won’t always require a plug-in either. Microsoft wants to enable a WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) version as soon as possible.

Skype for Web makes it quicker and easier than ever before to connect with friends, family and colleagues around the world, for free,” said Jonathan Watson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Skype.

“It’s perfect if you prefer using the web rather than an app. Perhaps you’re sitting at a computer that doesn’t already have Skype downloaded,” Watson explains.

“Or maybe you’re on the go and using an internet café or hotel computer whilst on vacation where you can’t download Skype at all.”

You’ll be able to make voice and video calls, as well as send instant messages direct through your browser

Skype for Web is confirmed to be available via Internet Explorer 10, the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox, and Safari 6 on Mac OS too.

Skype for Web is only available in beta for ‘a small number of existing a new users’ for now, but should the constrained rollout see success, it’s assured to hit the general public ‘in the coming months’.

It’s also not landing without issues – Skype has confirmed that there’s currently a problem ‘with battery consumption’ when running Skype for Web on a Mac.

There’s also a problem with outgoing Skype video calls taking longer than normal to connect and ring too.

If you want to check whether you’ve got an invite, just sign into your account on Skype.com and you’ll be notified should you make the beta-test cut.

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