A month after rolling out Extensions for the Edge web browser, Microsoft is continuing to expand the amount of extensions on offer.
Developers are slowly getting on board and the company itself is pushing out more functionality to its new browser, the latest being a Skype tool.
Namely a preview of plugin-free Skype calls in Microsoft Edge, giving users Skype call access without the need for a plugin, supporting voice and video calls, as well as single and group sessions.
The extension preview will work on all browser locations where Skype is available, such as Outlook.com, OneDrive, Office Online, and of course Skype for Web.
This is a long time plan for Microsoft as the company first discussed the idea of making Skype voice and video calling on a browser since 2014. Skype for Web has been available since June 2015, giving the company the chance to develop its browser Skype plans.
At the time that would have meant launching an extension for Internet Explorer, but with the launch of Edge and Windows 10 it made sense for the company to develop the extension for the new browser. Plugin free access to Skype within Edge means users do not need to download of install anything and are able to:
All Skype one-to-one and group voice and video calls to and from Microsoft Edge browsers are plugin free.
All Skype one-to-one calls from Microsoft Edge to the latest versions of Skype for Windows and Skype for Mac are plug in free.
It is a nice addition to Edge for sure, but it does come with some huge caveats. Chief among them is that it is only possible to use this extension if all parties in the conversation has the Edge browser and the latest version of Skype. If any party is using the Skype mobile app, a landline, or another web browser, they will need to download the plugin as before.
“To keep it simple: if you’re calling from Microsoft Edge, ask the person you’re calling to upgrade to the latest version of Skype for Windows or Mac, or to use Skype for Web on Microsoft Edge” (Windows 10 version 10.0.10586 and above).
As this is just a preview, those limitations are probably acceptable, but we hope Microsoft will make the extension more accessible as the company moves to an end user result. The company hasn’t said how long it will keep this Edge extension on the shelf, but the company did suggest that compatibility will be available on Chrome and Firefox eventually.