Microsoft has just announced a new Skype client for Linux, after the company previously teased us with some exciting news for users on the platform.
With this release, Microsoft brings Skype for Linux in line with the Windows version, as it features a similar UI and supports features such as file and photo sharing, video and emoticon support.
What’s important to note, however, is that this client is still in alpha stage, so it is a very early version of the new Skype for Linux. You will be able to chat with friends on any new version of Skype, including those on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, but anyone who is using the old version of Skype for Linux won’t be available for calling.
“As we develop this new version of Skype for Linux, we need you to test, provide feedback and help us prioritize features. You will notice that with the Alpha version of Skype for Linux, which uses our next generation calling architecture, you will be able to call your friends and family on the latest versions of Skype,” Microsoft explains.
The company emphasizes that it’s all about feedback at this point, so it calls for Linux users who install this alpha client to actually help improve it and fix bugs.
Linux users will also be able to use Skype for Web with Chrome browser, as Microsoft is also releasing an alpha version that makes it possible to chat with friends without installing anything else.
Video calling and calls to landlines will soon be added too, Microsoft says, but for the moment, only the essential feature package is supported for Chromebooks and Chrome for Linux.
“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. As such, we want to hear feedback to help us deliver more excitement in the upcoming months,” it says.
Users on Linux can download the new alpha client here, so make sure you send feedback if you want to see it improved in the coming releases.