Job Listing Confirms Development of Skype Web App

A rough job listing at Microsoft is now calling for a software development engineer to join the Skype division. The listing says that the new employee will help bring Skype to web browsers, meaning we may soon see a Microsoft-based Google Voice/Chat competitor in Firefox, Internet Explorer and other browsers in the near future stamped with the Skype logo.

"[The] team at Skype is looking for passionate, team-oriented and self-motivated developers to help us bring [the] Skype experience to the Web [browser]," the listing reads (after a little editing). "You will have a chance to integrate existing Skype solutions into the Web with the support of back-end services built from the ground up using [the] latest Microsoft technologies. [The] result of your work will be used by hundreds millions of thankful users worldwide."

"You will work in [a] dynamical environment with [a] team of true professionals, participating in defining, designing, developing, testing and documenting one of the most popular applications of the modern world," the listing continues. "You will closely cooperate with colleagues developing the Skype cross-platform core library in Tallinn, Estonia, the audio/video team in Stockholm, Sweden, the user management team in Prague, and the web plug-in team in Palo Alto, US."

Currently consumers can make calls and chat online using Google Voice and Google Chat within a browser without having to install a stand-alone client. Just recently Mozilla demonstrated its own Web-based video calling service that uses the open-source WebRTC standard to establish a connection, and a JavaScript and HTML-based SocialAPU for audio and video streaming.

Microsoft's solution lists HTML5 and JavaScript as a job requirement, meaning that the Skype web app may not use a browser-based plug-in like Flash and Silverlight, both of which aren't supported in Windows 8's version of Internet Explorer 10. Does this mean the standalone client may be retired? Probably not given that consumers may not want to open the browser for chatting and calling. But the web app makes it convenient not having to run both browser and desktop client simultaneously.

Microsoft acquired Skype back in May 2011 for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. Since then, little else has been said about what the Redmond company planned to do with the newly-acquired VoIP service. There was fear that the popular service would become "Microsoft-ized," but CEO Steve Ballmer assured critics that there wouldn't be a drastic change to the current format, that it will be multi-platform as well as compatible with its own services like Hotmail, Xbox Live and so on.

For those interested in working on Microsoft's Skype web app for browsers, qualifications include a BS/MS in Computer Science, Information Systems or similar. You must also reside in Prague, Czech Republic, Europe. The job listing can be accessed here.

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