Microsoft is rolling out additional features for Skype for Web, the company's Web-based version of the VoIP service that allows users to access their Skype conversations from any computer.
The new features, which Microsoft announced March 14, allow users to call mobile phones and landlines directly from Skype. The company is also looking to take some of the financial sting out of making calls, especially international ones.
Specifically, customers can save money by using Skype credit or a subscription needed to start making affordable international calls. Once the user has signed into Skype for Web, he or she clicks on the "call phones" tab, select the destination, dial the number, and hit the call button.
In addition to giving access to mobile phones and landlines, users can watch YouTube videos without leaving Skype. They can also add new people to a conversation, even if those people are not on Skype. The update also includes a notification feature.
If someone posts a YouTube video link in Skype for Web, users will be able to watch it directly in Skype. All the same volume and full-screen controls in YouTube are included, but users won't have to open a new browser window to watch the video.
Microsoft has also been working to improve the way URLs show up in Skype for Web, which means they now include an image from the Web page.
In addition, users can now create a chat with anyone by pressing +New and then Share Conversation -- a feature previously just available to Skype for Windows desktop users.
Users are given a unique conversation URL that they can share. Anyone who clicks the URL can join the chat, which is ideal for inviting people to a chat if they're not currently Skype contacts.
To simplify things further, users don't even need to know if they already use Skype, because they can join the conversation as a guest using Skype for Web.
Rounding out the updated package of features is notifications. As long as users are signed into Skype for Web, they will receive notifications, even if they're in another browser tab or another app.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced several updates to Skype and Skype for Business, the most significant of which are some new and expanded features in Skype for Business intended to broaden Skype services and make videoconferencing more accessible.
A big part of the announcement was Project Rigel, a new initiative intended to broaden the availability of Skype. Project Rigel will enable businesses to connect displays or projectors to Office 365. Windows 10 devices will be used for touch control. Skype for Business technology will connect meeting attendees.
Microsoft also announced that the Cloud Connector Edition for the Skype for Business Server would be available in April 2016.