Skype drops the requirement for plugins on its web app

Microsoft has just announced that Skype for Web will no longer require a browser plugin or download of any kind, allowing users to make video and audio calls simply by signing in to the service. The company says that the Skype feature within, Office Online, and OneDrive is also plugin free. The catch is that it's limited to Microsoft's Edge browser on Windows 10 at the moment, but there are plans to do the same on other browsers, making it easier to use Skype in situations where local installations aren't possible.

Microsoft says the change is due to compatibility with the ORTC standard, which is used for video streaming over the web. The technology was embedded in Edge last year, but the plan is offer the same plugin-free Skype for Web on Chrome and Firefox once they support the H.264 video codec.

There are still some limitations, however, such as calls to a landline or screen sharing still need a plugin, and the caller on the other end must be running the latest version of Skype for either Windows or Mac. Calls to people using the iOS and Android apps also aren't supported just yet.

Once this new version of Skype for Web makes its way beyond Edge, it will make it much easier for people to make calls with devices such as Chromebook, or on things like public PCs, such as those found in hotels.

SOURCE Skype Blog