Microsoft has launched a limited beta of Skype for Web which lets you chat and make voice and video calls directly from a web browser.

Skype for Web will only be available to a small group of users initially while Microsoft tests the software, but the company plan sot roll out Skype for Web to additional users in the coming months.

You might think that this gives you one less reason to choose a Windows laptop over a Chromebook, but Skype for Web won’t work with Chrome OS… at least not yet.

skype for web

In a blog post announcing Skype for Web, the Skype team says Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari are supported… as well as Chrome for Windows.

In other words, you probably can’t use a Chromebook (or Chrome on OS X) at this point

Eventually Skype hopes to let you make voice and video calls without installing a browser plugin by using the WebRTC (Real-Time Communications) protocol built into a number of modern browsers. But for now you’ll need to install a plugin the first time you want to use Skype to make a call from your browser.

It looks like Skype for web *might* work on Chromebooks once Microsoft drops the need for a plugin and moves to WebRTC.

New and existing Skype users can find out if they’re part of the initial group of testers by logging into their account at Skype.com and looking for an invitation.

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9 replies on “Skype for Web lets you chat from a browser (but not on a Chromebook… yet)”

  1. webRTC will of course now be implemented by all kinds of communication services because of Skype dominance.
    Google Open Source and royalty free communication codec standard webRTC
    will MS owned Skype of course use because it is gratis to use!
    But MS is not acquiring codecs as Google did of On2 Technolgies for their VP8 videocodec
    which Skype allready have implemented.

  2. Last and only software that I need to work on chromebook is Skype and I can buy one for my grandfather. I have been waiting for years now…

    1. What about just doing a Hangout with your grandfather instead of waiting all these years?

      1. Not sure about Bob’s experience, but my experience has been that Google Hangouts has lower picture quality, lower framerates, and more issues with de-sync of video and audio — frequently to the point of being unusable. Part of that is probably that I live in a rural area with fairly low bandwidth. I assume the two products use different compression algorithms, and Skype’s appears to behave better in low bandwidth situations. I haven’t tried Hangouts in about a year though, so maybe things have improved there.

        1. I get what you’re saying, it’s absolutely subjective to experience with a product. We’ve had so many problems with group calling on Skype, generally at least one persons video never shows up or will eventually freeze. The same person could have a perfect one-to-one video call with you though. It’s to a point my sister-in-law insists everyone “check for updates” prior to every group call. We only ever did one Hangout but all video signals came in with decent quality, not sure why we’ve never done one sense. Probably because people are use to Skype.

      2. The problem is he Skypes with other relatives around the world. All of these people have Skype and none of them use Hangout. Also it’s hard to train 80 year old man to use new software. It was hard first time around to teach him how to use Skype when he was 70.

        1. Gotcha, I know how hard it is to get other people to use specific software. Also the age thing makes complete sense, hopefully they bring this to Chrome OS then!

      3. Descent Android tablet and skype to run at start. Why wait for the chromebook?

    2. You can sort of run Skype on your Chromebook using new Android Runtime. I’ve managed it to run on my Samsung ARM Chromebook (v1).

      First find an APK version of Skype and convert it using https://github.com/vladikoff/chromeos-apk, then install it in Chrome Extensions (Load Unpacked Extension). Android Runtime will be installed before the first run.

      I’ve had to fiddle with some files before installing, since conversion isn’t 100%.

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