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Skype beta for Web is officially open to the public in the US and UK

Back in November last year, Microsoft started rolling out a beta version of Skype that would run on web browsers on a limited basis. Now, the Redmond giant has officially confirmed that the Skype for web beta will be available to anyone in the U.S and U.K.

Users interested in trying out the beta version of Skype can sign-up via Skype.com or web.skype.com. The beta version for Skype negates the need to download the app before initiating conferencing or chats/messaging.

“Perhaps you’re sitting at a Windows or Mac computer in an Internet cafe or hotel that doesn’t already have Skype downloaded,” Jonathan Watson, senior product marketing manager for user reach and engagement, said in a blog post.

It’ll be available for Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox and on Macs with Safari 6 or higher. Voice and video calling capabilities are only available for now on the browsers mentioned above, provided that users install the browser plug-in to get those features up and running.
Skype for Web does not yet work on Chromebooks, as it currently requires a plug-in.

Browser availability seems to be one of the core issues Skype will try and rectify on its beta version. Though some other features apparently have been fine-tuned, which includes the improved search feature. Users on the web will now able to find people and groups easily through a searchable timeline view.

“We’ve improved the way you search for people and groups on Skype. Instead of two separate lists for contacts and recent conversations, Skype for Web introduces a timeline view – a single, searchable list that makes it easier to start new conversations and find existing ones,” explains Microsoft.

The web-based version of Microsoft’s chat client will continue rolling out over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile in April, Microsoft also announced the new Skype for Business client, hence all organizations which used the company’s Lync video and Web conferencing platform have been replaced with ‘Skype for Business’.

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