Microsoft announced the beta launch of Skype for Web, which lets you use the product from a web browser. You can use it from skype.com. Just sign in, and you'll see all your contacts and latest conversation history.
This will obviously be helpful for users who are at computers that don't already have Skype downloaded. It should be an ideal scenario for traveling.
"Once you’ve signed in on Skype.com, you can start instant messaging friends straight away," says Skype's Jonathan Watson. "Making great quality voice or video calls is just as easy; simply press the call button to connect. As you may have read in the last few weeks, Skype and our friends at Internet Explorer are starting to implement the technology to make Real-Time Communications (RTC) on the web a reality, but for now, before your first call, you’ll need to install a small plug-in to start your conversation. In the future, using Skype on the web will become even easier and convenient. Imagine you wanted to meet your child’s teacher, or conduct an online interview with a potential candidate -you’ll be able to chat over Skype directly from a browser in just a click. With web RTC, there won’t be any downloads or installs – you can just get straight to your conversation."
Really, this is just one of those things that it's hard to believe didn't already exist. Skype has been around for over a decade, Microsoft has had it for three years now. How was this not already a thing? Now that it is, it should make a lot of users happy.
Skype for Web works with Internet Explorer (obviously), Chrome on Windows, Firefox, or Safari.
The product is gradually rolling out, and will first be available to a small number of existing users and new users. The roll-out will continue over the coming months. They'll be sending out invites.
This week, Microsoft also announced Skype for Business. More on that here.
Skype logs over 2 billion minutes (over 33 million hours) of voice and video calls per month.
Image via Microsoft