Microsoft had not shown much interest in allowing Chromebook users to make and receive voice calls and video calls on Skype for Web, until recently that is. Even though video calls are still some way off from being a reality on the web app in Chromebooks, users can now at least make and receive voice calls. Even though Chromebook users have not been as lucky as their Mac and Windows counterparts in terms of using the Skype for Web app, the popularity as well as familiarity of Skype ensured that they waited patiently for new services to arrive, getting by in the meantime by sending and receiving written messages. They can, however, use WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to make and receive video calls in the meantime until Google introduces Allo and Duo in Chromebooks as well.
As per OMG! Chrome!, Microsoft may introduce the Skype Android app for Chromebooks soon. If it does, Microsoft may bring in video calling as well to compete effectively with rival messaging services. So far, a large number of Android and Chromebook users have relied on Google's Hangout to make voice calls or video calls. To counter this trend, Microsoft launched the beta of its new web-based Skype service in March and has now introduced voice calls, making it clear that the video calling feature, for which Skype is best known for, isn't too far away. Its arrival will also create a level playing field for both services to come up with new features and for customers to make the right choices.
A limited release of Skype for Web was announced in the first week of June for users located in the U.S. and in the UK. Ten days after it was launched, Chromebook users were, for the first time, able to send and receive messages on the web platform. Until then, they could only run Skype on desktop versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox and on their smartphones. It also makes perfect business sense for Microsoft to enable Skype for Web in Chromebooks. The likes of Lenovo, HP, Acer and ASUS are already manufacturing Chromebooks and new OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) like Xolo and Nexian have also joined the party recently. Given that Chromebooks may offer tremendous competition to Macs and Microsoft's own Surface Books in the future, the presence of Skype in the platform would ensure that the number of users visiting the service in the future wouldn't suffer a decline if Chrome OS made more sense to users than the Windows or Mac platforms.