Microsoft has announced the next step towards letting you make Skype calls from the browser without needing to install an app or plugin.

Skype for Web Beta, which the company detailed at the end of last month, will eventually offer plugin-free video and voice calls, and instant messaging, natively in most modern browsers, including Google Chrome.

So does this mean we’ll finally be able to use Skype on a Chromebook? Theoretically, yes. Right now? No.


Although the eventual aim is to power Skype for Web using the open WebRTC standard, the beta still requires a plugin to be downloaded in order to use it. And, no surprises, it’s not available for Chrome OS.

Indeed, accessing the beta page in Chrome on a Chromebook shows the following message:

“Sorry, Skype for Web (Beta) isn’t available on this device yet. Please try it on your desktop computer instead.”

The current bumps in the road are only minor. The end destination should be golden, with Microsoft aiming to encompass all major browsers, including Safari, Firefox and Google Chrome on Windows, Mac and Linux (and, presumably, Chrome OS too).

Try Skype for Web Beta

Microsoft is rolling out access to the beta in stages, so chances are you can’t use it even if you want to. The VoIP service says only a “small number of existing users” are being given access initially, but that it plans to add more as it rolls out the feature worldwide over the next few months.

To learn more jump over and read the official Skype announcement.

To see if you have beta access you can load up in a compatible browser (IE, Firefox or Chrome on Windows, Safari on OS X).

Chrome OS skype webrtc