Today, we’re pleased to announce the launch of the Alpha version of a new Skype for Linux client. This release reaffirms our commitment to an important group of people—the Linux community. At 7am PST / 14:00 UTC today, we’ll be hosting a Q&A between Linux users and our Engineering team to launch Skype for Linux Alpha (come and join in!)—a brand new WebRTC version of Skype for Linux—the launch of which ensures we can continue to support our Linux users in the years to come.
As you may have guessed by the name, Skype for Linux Alpha is not a fully functioning Skype client yet. We’re sharing it with you now, as we want to get it in your hands as soon as possible. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll notice that it’s very different from the Skype for Linux client you use today. For example, you’ll be using the latest, fast and responsive Skype UI, you can share files, photos and videos and send a whole new range of new emoticons.
As we develop this new version of Skype for Linux, we need you to test, provide feedback and help us prioritize features. You will notice that with the Alpha version of Skype for Linux, which uses our next generation calling architecture, you will be able to call your friends and family on the latest versions of Skype on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, but you won’t be able to make or receive calls to and from the previous versions of Skype for Linux (126.96.36.199). Please do provide as much feedback as you can on Skype for Linux Alpha, so we can continue to improve call connections and reliability.
Please head over to the Skype Community to find out more, download the Alpha and provide feedback.
But that’s not all!
A couple of months ago, we announced plugin free calling using ORTC on Skype for Web, Outlook and in Office Web Apps, using Microsoft Edge. ORTC makes it possible to make free voice and video calls on Skype without needing to download an app or browser plugin—so it’s really easy to get started on Skype.
Today, anyone using a Chromebook or Chrome on Linux can now visit web.skype.com and make one-to-one and group voice calls on top of the messaging features they get today. This again is an Alpha version of Skype based on WebRTC and inherits the same features as the Alpha version of the Skype for Linux client. This is our initial step on our path to replicate ORTC capabilities beyond Microsoft Edge. As such, we want to hear feedback to help us deliver more excitement in the upcoming months.
Video calling and calls to landlines and mobiles are coming soon to Chrome browsers in Linux and Chromebooks, so stay tuned for updates over the coming weeks and months.
These are exciting times for the hundreds of millions of people that use Skype on their computer. With the Skype for Universal Windows Platform app Preview well underway for Windows 10 users and our investment in ORTC and WebRTC technology bringing you the very best Skype experience, we’re looking forward to the future!