MICROSOFT OWNED VOIP SERVICE Skype has gone live as an upgraded web app. But as ever with Microsoft, it's very much on its own terms.
The upgraded web service means that those who don't want to access the native app that is almost impossible to turn off can instead use the web page, and can access many of its newest features like call recording and HD video.
The bad news, however, is that Microsoft has decided in its infinite wisdom to limit support to Chrome and Edge browsers - freezing out Apple's Safari, Opera and Firefox.
It's also limited to Windows 10 and MacOS 10.12 and above (as long as your running Chrome instead of Safari), though we've checked and it does seem to work on Chrome OS as well.
For those that can access it, there are a number of new features, including a media gallery, which lets you find that hilarious cat picture without scrolling back through a conversation, and a notifications panel that alerts you to any conversations or mentions that you should be aware of. Also new is an improved search function for old conversations.
Newer builds of Windows 10 actually deepen the integration between the Skype app and the operating system, making the web version somewhat pointless, but if you're the sort of person who objects to being constantly logged in to your account, but does occasionally use Skype, there are some advantages.
Skype recently upgraded to Version 8, the first to be exclusively a Universal Windows app (UWP), bringing the end of Skype ‘Classic', which was still preferred by many users, thanks to it actually working properly.
Earlier attempts to shut it down were scuppered by an eleventh-hour admission by Microsoft that the new version didn't work as well (not to mention how minging the colour scheme has become). Various improvements were made before the lights finally went out on Skype Classic.
Although the web version has limited usefulness, it still represents another way to access the Skype service, assuming you haven't already found something better for your VoIP needs. Which wouldn't be difficult. μ
Some deliberately, others through stupidity
Quite the business expense
It's another quantum leap camera
Evolution, not revolution, but that's just fine