Of all the things Microsoft has been historically good at, video chat wasn’t one of them. They left Skype lingering on the vine for far too long, and are only now bringing the service up to speed. It’s coming along nicely, though, and it’s about to be available everywhere. At Build 2015, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella quickly breezed past a unique new feature for Skype; a web SDK that will see Skype built right into other apps. Rather than build a native chat client, Developers can now call on Skype.
The announcement was very subtle, more a segue into Office chatter than a proud pronouncement. Still, it’s got a lot of promise.
Skype’s new web SDK can be built into any web app, be it for the desktop or mobile.
For Developers, that means their app now has immediate access to the 1.5 billion Office users who naturally have a Skype account. All a user would have to do is use Skype inside another app; theoretically, they probably wouldn’t even have to log-in unless they were previously logged out.
That also leaves the heavy lifting to Microsoft, which is another handy feature for Developers. Nadella suggested all Skype’s functionality would be available, including video chat.
This SDK is also purposeful for emerging markets, which rely more on web apps than native ones, and even handier as Microsoft is working on real-time translation tools for Skype.
It won’t happen quickly, as the SDK is only now coming available. It doesn’t seem as if Microsoft had any launch partners for this one, so expect to start seeing it pop up in a few months time.