Use Skype without Downloading and Installing the App

Skype for Web - Within the Browser

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Skype has become quite bulky these days. I know some friends who could not install it on their smartphones for lack of internal space. What if we could use it without installing? That would help a lot in cases where you need to use Skype on your friend’s computer or on a public computer on which it is not installed. Or you must just not want to bloat your computer with Skype, especially if you won’t use it except rarely. Skype for Web comes handy in all these cases. Skype says it is a response to the request of millions of Skype users who want to be able to talk and to send instant messages when they visit the website.

Skype for Web runs in a browser. At the time I am writing this, it is still in Beta version, and only selected members of the public are getting to use it, I being among them. Check if you are selected ( a selection which may probably be random) by typing in your browser’s address bar and go. Skype page loads. If you are selected, you will be prompted to try it. Earlier this month, the beta was available only for people in the US and the UK. Now it is global.

To use Skype on your browser, you first need to have the right browser. Internet Explorer works with version 10 or later. Chrome and Firefox work in their latest versions. To be sure, just make an update of your browser before trying Skype for Web. Note that Chrome on Mac OS does not work with all features, so it is best to use Safari version 6 and above. Skype has left Linux out. Maybe it is the same old vendetta between Microsoft and open-source Linux.

You also need to Skype account or a Microsoft account, both of which you can use to sign in. You can also use your Facebook account to sign in. Once you sign in on the browser, you remain signed in for the whole session, even if you close your browser to reopen later, unless you sign out or the session expires.

If you want to make voice and video calls, you will have to install a plugin. The system will automatically detect that you have to download it and you will be prompted to do so. Things go smoothly afterward. Download and installation of the plugin were quite easy in Chrome browser. The plugin is actually a WebRTC plugin, which allows communication to take place directly between the browsers, remotely

The interface is very similar to the Skype app, with a thin pane on the left carrying a buddy and some tools, while the main pane shows one of your (selected) contacts with the conversation. The voice and video buttons are on the top right corner.

This web counterpart of Skype does not have all the bells and whistles of the standalone app. Many features are missing, but Skype is working on rolling them out within the browser app one by one.

Skype for Web makes it a lot easier for people to be more mobile. The history and data remain more global than ever now. You don’t need your device or computer. You can access your Skype account just anywhere on any machine.

Skype for Web works in a lot of languages, which are the following: Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, English, German, Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Chinese Simplified, and Chinese Traditional.