Microsoft is fleshing out the Skype for Web app with some welcome new features that combine the best of the desktop app with the benefits of being based in a browser.
Perhaps the biggest feature left out of the original Skype for Web release and added today is the ability to dial mobile and landline numbers. Now, users with enough credits or a Skype subscription can bring up a dialer to place calls to any phone number. Notifications are also coming to Skype for Web. So if you have Skype open in a background tab, you don’t have to worry about missing a video call.
But Skype is also taking advantage of its web format by providing previews of linked content. For example, YouTube videos are embedded into the stream any time a YouTube link is shared. That means users don’t have to switch to a new window to watch the latest viral video making the rounds. The embeds also extend to articles, with Skype for Web pulling in an image from the linked webpage.
Microsoft is even bringing the ability to chat with people who don’t have a Skype account to Skype for Web. Users have been able to share links for Skype conversations since last year, but previously, they’ve had to use the desktop app to create those links. Now, those links are available in Skype for Web, and can grant anyone access to your conversation, even if they don’t have a Skype account.