Microsoft is taking Skype directly into web browsers

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Microsoft has today announced Skype for Web Beta – a version of the voice and video chatting app that will work in your web browser.

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Announcing it on the Skype blog, the app is only available to a select few at the moment, though will be rolling out to everyone soon. The web app does away with the need to download specialist software for your computer – though you’ll still need to install a small plugin to make it work. Skype for web should work across all major browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

It’s an interesting and perhaps unsurprising move from Microsoft given that rivals, such as Google Hangouts are entirely web-based. Removing the need to download removes a barrier to entry, and will get people Skyping quicker.

We’ll let you know when it is publicly available.

James O’Malley