On Thursday a new Skype for Web Client was released by Microsoft on Thursday and it came with a surprising decision. It appears that Skype for Web doesn’t support several browsers now. The chat client only works on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, as well as other Chromium-based browsers such as Vivaldi. The browsers that were removed are Opera, Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari
VentureBeat obtained a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson in which the decision was explained:
A Microsoft spokesperson said the service requires “calling and real-time media” technology that is “implemented differently across various browsers.” So the company “decided to prioritize bringing Skype to [the] web on Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome based on customer value.
This move disappointed many users, who lost access to Skype for Web. Nonetheless, Microsoft did make the announcement last month. Back then it warned users that they will need Edge or Chrome in order to access Skype for Web, and Firefox, Safari, and Opera users will no longer be able to use the chat client. However, Microsoft didn’t offer a date for when the change will occur.
Users discovered back on Friday that the latest version of Skype for Web does not work on their Safari and Firefox browsers. Some of them found a loophole and changed the user agent in Firefox to mimic Chrome, which allowed them to use the latest version of Skype for Web.
It appears that the technology that is preventing Skype for Web to continue support for browsers such as Safari is the WebRTC. This open source technology allows browsers to support real-time communications.
This decision will reduce the number of Skype for Web users, which is not a good thing for Microsoft. Last year, Skype for Web also dropped support for Linux and Chrome OS.
Nora Reynolds is a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior, writing about science in general. She also likes to try new gadgets and sports about the AI new era.