Microsoft’s recent push to be a mobile first, cloud first company doesn’t play very well when your main messaging client requires a heavy-handed client. That’s changing, and today Microsoft announced that users in the US and the UK can try out a web based version of Skype, with no client needed.
The new web client, at web.skype.com, loads your latest conversations, so you’ll see any messages you’ve recently sent or received, whether it was from mobile, tablet, or desktop. The web client also introduces a new timeline view, a searchable list that combines contacts and recent conversations to make it easy not only to find old conversations but start new ones.
You will be able to make and receive Skype video or audio calls, but you’ll need to install a plugin to your browser (IE, Chrome, Safari, and/or Firefox). You’ll also be able to, with an opt-in, get notifications, “even if you’re using another app or viewing a different website in another browser window”.
This isn’t the only appearance of Skype on the web, as you’ll soon be able to Skype with the new experience from within Outlook.com. The Outlook web preview is rolling out, too, although it may be a few more weeks before you’re able to try it out.
Skype for Web is available today if you’re in the US or the UK, and will be rolling out worldwide “in the next few weeks”