Programmes like Skype are incredibly useful to have access to, but the fact that you need to download and install software makes it difficult to use them on a computer that isn’t your own. Fortunately Microsoft has announced that it will be possible to use an in-browser version of Skype “soon”.
‘Skype for Web’, as it’s being called, is currently in beta and is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer if you download a ‘small plugin’. That’s not really much different from having to download a separate piece of software, but Microsoft has promised that once WebRTC is implemented on a wider scale then we’ll all be able to use Skype for Web without the need for any sort of download or browser extension whatsoever.
For the time being Skype for Web will be available for “a small number of existing and new users” in a limited beta. To find out if you’re eligible to take part you need to log into your account on Skype.com. If you don’t see an invitation on screen then, sadly, you’re not one of the lucky few.
This is a good thing to be happening though, because it means regardless of what computer you’re on, be it a loan, a work computer, or even a computer in an internet café, you can stay in touch with other people. I can see it being especially handy for people who have gone travelling to stay in touch with friends and family, but that’s only one of many potential uses.