Here's the problem with videoconferencing: users typically have to download and install an app before anyone can get anything done. Whether you're meeting with clients, associates, employees or potential hires, it's an inconvenience that can lead to wasted time from technical difficulties, or, worse, if you have to teach someone how to use the technology. Now, there's a better way to videoconference and make voice calls over the Web.
Skype announced today (Nov. 14) that it will be rolling out Skype for Web (Beta), a new way to use the Skype via Web browser. With Skype for Web, the company aims to make Skype more convenient to use, wherever you are, by letting you use the service directly from your Web browser.
To use Skype for Web, simply log in at Skype.com to begin chatting and making video and voice calls. There's no need to download and install the Skype app, or you can skip the hassle of opening and logging into your existing one. [6 Affordable Video Conferencing Solutions]
Just like the Skype app, Skype for Web lets you make video and voice calls, as well as instant message. It also stores all your contacts and keeps a history of your latest conversations.
Skype for Web works with Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. You'll have to install a plug-in before you make your first call, however. Skype is currently working on eliminating that step with Real-Time Communications (RTC) technology, which the company hopes to implement in the future for one-click Skype calls and chats.
[For a side-by-side comparison of the best Web conferencing services visit our sister site Top Ten Reviews.]
Because Skype for Web is still in Beta, there are still several issues that need to be addressed, such as browser availability, battery life and connection times.
Currently, Skype for Web is available only on select browser versions: Safari 6 for Mac, and Internet Explorer 10 and the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox for Windows. There are also issues with battery consumption when running the service on Mac computers. Additionally, users have reported that outgoing Skype video calls take longer than normal to connect over a Web browser as compared to using the Skype software.
Skype is rolling out Skype for Web (Beta), starting with a "small number of existing and new users." It will be available worldwide over the next few months. Find out if you are eligible and look for an invitation by signing it at Skype.com.