Those of you who Skype a lot must have found Skype for Web the most convenient way to connect to people on Skype. There is no longer need to download and install the Skype app; a development that’s quite convenient if you are in a slow, unreliable or metered internet connection. However, we are all wishing for a fully web-based interaction without first having to install any plug-ins to use the service.
Well, Microsoft might just grant you that wish sooner that you think. The company has unveiled a plug-in free version of Skype for Web on the Edge browser. That means, the web variant of Skype can allow you to make video calls, voice calls, and text messaging by simply signing in to your Skype account on the Edge browser without first downloading any plug-ins to the browser.
Earlier, the Skype for Web variant of the service first required you to install a plug-in to be able to communicate with your contacts. Something that beats the purpose of it being called a web-based interaction.
The plug-in free Skype for Web is currently in beta stage and only available on Microsoft’s Edge browser. As the company works on fine tuning the platform to make it as good as the Skype application if not better, we are hoping it is going to become even more hassle free and readily available.
When the plug-in free Skype for Web (stable) will be released, users can simply borrow a laptop and using just the web interface log into your Skype account and get in touch with your Skype contacts. Another scenario where this service will be useful is when you don’t have the administrative rights to install new software on a borrowed/shared computer. Take, for instance, when you borrow someone’s computer, or using a public computer at the library or at the internet cafe and the computer does not have the Skype app installed.
Skype for Web is also convenient on devices with limited hardware resources (slow processor and small RAM size). Since the fewer the apps, you install and the lesser the apps you run simultaneously, the faster and better such a ‘resource-starved’ devices will run.
The downside currently with the preview version is that to use it effectively, the other person at the other end of the line needs to:
*Not be using the mobile app version of Skype or a landline device.
*If logged in on PC, they must have the latest version of the Skype app installed.
You will also be disappointed to know that the preview version does not support screen sharing, but you can get this feature by installing the plug-in.
The plug-in free Skype for Web is likely to be rolled out to other browsers in the near future. We can confidently assume so since Microsoft is known for sharing its services across multiple platforms. However, we won’t be surprised if it restricts this feature only to the Edge browser, as a way of encouraging users to use its browser frequently; but I won’t hold my breath on that!