Skype has transcended its apps and has ascended to the glorious realm of the cloud. Skype for Web has moved into its open beta period and is available in the U.S and the U.K. With Skype for Web, users need only a modern browser and a connection to the Internet to access their Skype contacts and conversations.
Skype for Web has several use cases, such as offering a bigger screen when checking IMs and calls than on mobile or signing into the communications service on a public computer which doesn't have a Skype installed, stated the Skype team in a blog post. Skype for Web is a critical step in Microsoft's plan to "make Real-Time Communications (RTC) on the web a reality," stated the Skype team's Jonathon Watson.
"But just as importantly, we're doing it because the hundreds of millions of people that visit Skype.com every month told us they want to call and IM when they visit our website," stated Watson. "We know how critical it is for you to get to your conversations - and Skype for Web helps you get connected anytime."
Microsoft's Skype team made a few improvements to the messaging software before launching Skype for web's open beta period.
Skype for Web now includes notifications, though users will need to enable them on their own. The notifications can alert a Skype user of an incoming call, even if that person has moved onto another website or browser.
The current version of Skype for Web has also had its search updates, so that users can browse contacts and conversations in single timeline. So users are no longer forced to search through contacts and conversations separately.
Though Skype for Web's open beta only includes the U.S and U.K for now, the Skype team says it will expand the software's public testing period to the rest of the world soon.
The Skype for Web open beta period comes hot on the heels of another major update to the messaging service. About three days earlier, the Skype team, infatuated with the user interface changes it made to Outlook's Skype plugin, introduced the update for all Outlook.com users.
"We did not want to limit this new Skype experience to the new Outlook.com preview audience, and starting today, we are rolling out the latest version of Skype for all Outlook.com customers," stated the Skype team last Wednesday. "This updated version of Skype, which is still in the beta phase, aims to make it easier for you to use Skype together with your inbox."