Microsoft has introduced a completely redesigned Skype for Linux

After years of ignoring it, the Skype development team has introduced a new client for Linux. The reworked app has nothing common with the previously released version 4.3 of Skype for Linux besides its name.


Skype logoThe new version of Skype for Linux shows a shift from the previously used Qt framework to web technologies. Under the hood of this new version are the Electron platform, Chromium and Node.js.

So, basically this new Skype is just a web version packed into the native GUI app.

The resource usage is similar to what other Electron-based apps have:Skype resource usage

The new app is in an early development stage. Many Skype features are not implemented yet. The following features are missing:

  • Video calls.
  • PSTN (external network calls).
  • SMS sending.
  • Group calls.
  • Device options.
  • 32-bit version of the app.

The worst thing about this new Skype for Linux is that it supports only the latest version of the Skype protocol. Due to this limitation, it is not able to communicate with users who are using Skype for Linux It is able to receive messages and calls only from recent versions of Skype for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.

There are DEB and RPM packages available for download which are tested in Fedora 23, Debian 8.5, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu GNOME 16.04, openSUSE 13.2 and 42.1. The application is tested in GNOME, Unity, MATE, Cinnamon and KDE.

I tested the application in Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon edition, and it seems to be working.Skype in action

To give it a try, do the following.

  1. Point your browser here: Skype for Linux Alpha
  2. Download and install the appropriate package.Skype installing
  3. Open the apps menu and run it from there.Skype installed

Skype started
What do you think about this new Skype for Linux? Are you happy with the changes or do you think that Microsoft is moving in the wrong direction? Tell us in the comments.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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