Microsoft launches alpha of new Skype app for Linux

Microsoft has released an alpha version of a Skype Web app for Linux, and it's adding calling functionality to Skype for Chromebook and Chrome on Linux.

Microsoft is making available on July 13 an alpha version of a Skype app for Linux.

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The new client app is a WebRTC client that makes use of Skype's new calling architecture. That means Skype Linux users can call Skype for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android users, but not those still using the old Skype Linux client.

The new alpha of the Linux client is downloadable from Microsoft's website.

Microsoft also announced Wednesday anyone using a Chromebook or Chrome on Linux browser can now make one-to-one and group voice calls using Skype. (Chromebook users already could do messaging via Skype.)

Starting July 13, anyone using a Chromebook or Chrome on Linux can visit web.skype.com to get this functionality.

"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," said officials.

Video calling and calls to landlines and mobiles are "coming soon" to Chrome browsers in Linux and sometime in the coming weeks and months to Chromebooks, officials said in a blog post.