Microsoft has just announced a major change for Skype for Web.
Big news, Skype users: Microsoft is making some changes.
Microsoft announced six months ago that it would be created a plugin-free version of Skype on the web, and now the company is rolling it out in limited capacity, according to reports.
Now, Microsoft Edge users will be able to do Skype calls and video chats on Skype.com, as well as OneDrive, Office Online, and Outlook.com, all without having to install more software as Microsoft seeks to free Skype from plugins.
You’ll still need a plugin for group calls between web and desktop versions of Skype, and the latest version of Skype will need to be installed for non-web users. So if you want to use Skype without a plugin, it’ll basically need to be between two Microsoft Edge users.
Microsoft is using the WebRTC standard for this plugin-free Skype, but you can’t use it in Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, although Microsoft says they’ll extend support to them when they support the H.264 video codec.
“The H.264 format is historically the preferred option in the RTC industry,” Microsoft said in a statement. “H.264 support has been widely adopted across hardware platforms, and has broad hardware offload support, for improved performance and video quality. We’re excited to see more modern browsers now supporting the H.264 video format in WebRTC implementations—Firefox has shipped support for H.264/AVC, and initial H.264 support is now available in Chrome Canary (behind a flag).
“Our focus is on basic 1:1 communications, and we will initially support a single H.264/AVC stream within PeerConnection,” it continues. “Advanced functionality like multi-stream support, provisional answers, or the WebRTC 1.0 object model, are currently out of scope for our implementation. We look forward to sharing updates on this implementation as our prototyping continues.”