Microsoft rolls out new Skype for Web, and drops support for Chrome OS and Linux

Skype for Web

Most of the Skype-related news of late has been about Microsoft killing off Skype Classic and moving people to Skype 8 -- but now there's news about the web version of the communication tool. While there are a number of new features to explore -- including hi-def video calling, new notifications and call recording -- Microsoft has taken the decision to reduce the number of supported platforms.

The latest version of Skype for Web only works in Windows 10 and macOS 10.12 or newer, and only in the Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers. Firefox and Opera users are left out in the cold, and anyone running Chrome OS or Linux will be disappointed to learn that their operating systems are no longer supported.

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We have already seen much of what is new in Skype for Web in a preview towards the tail end of last year, but now Microsoft is making it available to a wider audience. The company is also using this web-based update to promote Skype 8, saying:

We are releasing the updated MSI distributable for Skype (version 8) for Windows desktop, which replaces the existing MSI distributable of Skype (version 7) for Windows desktop. If you are an IT administrator, simply download the new MSI file to start distributing the latest version of Skype to your organization via the distribution software of your choice.

In a blog post about the last update, Microsoft reveals the features you can enjoy in Skype for Web if you're using a supported platform and web browser:

  • HD video calling -- Experience HD in one-to-one or group video calling, now with call reactions.
  • Call recording -- Capture special moments in a Skype call with your loved ones or record important meetings with colleagues.
  • Notifications panel -- Grab a cup of coffee and catch up on what you've missed in your notifications panel. Click the bell icon to see reactions to your messages, @mentions in group conversations, or if someone quoted you -- all in one central place. Just click a message in the notifications panel to jump into the conversation.
  • Find within conversations -- You can now easily find messages in the current conversation by typing the word or phrase you want to find in the search box.
  • Chat Media Gallery -- Looking for the link or photo sent a few weeks ago? The Chat Media Gallery makes it easy to find files, links, and photos shared in a conversation, whether it was yesterday or last month. No more scrolling through your chat history -- just click Gallery under the chat name to see all the files, links, and photos in the conversation.

Head over to Skype for Web to try it out for yourself.

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