Skype has, for a long time, been the video calling and chat service of choice. All you need is an account, and (for some features) a credit card, and you can contact anybody around the world. It’s so ubiquitous that people use it as a verb, even when discussing a rival service. And it’s those rival services that may have pushed Skype into making their service account-free.
The process of using Skype without any sort of Microsoft account is straightforward: Go to the site in your browser, click “Start a conversation,” and you’ll get a link. Share this link with anybody you want to talk with, and you have a conversation. The catch is that without an account, Skype won’t archive your conversation for more that 24 hours, but all of Skype’s free features, including file sharing, video calls, and screen sharing, are available. It’s worth noting that if you have a Hotmail account or an Xbox Live username, you also have a Skype account.
So why would Skype do such a thing, all of a sudden? With messaging apps like Hipchat and Slack on the market and catching on in the corporate world, Skype is feeling the pressure to up its game and remain the chat client of choice for consumers and companies alike. The fact that you can create a “burner” Skype easily and quickly also likely has some appeal to journalists and people concerned about how their data is aggregated in general, and there’s also a certain appeal to having a service you can use without having yet another account password to keep track of.
If any of that appeals to you, you can use this feature starting today.
(via The Verge)