Microsoft announces new Skype for Linux Alpha application

Software giant Microsoft said in a Wednesday announcement that it has launched Skype for Linux Alpha application --- an "alpha" test version of the company's new Skype for Linux client for consumer users of its Skype voice- over-IP, instant messaging and teleconferencing service.

The "alpha" test release of Microsoft's new, modern Skype for Linux application replaces the old and out-of-date Skype for Linux application which the company has hardly updated in years, and is now phasing it out.

In announcing the release of the new Skype for Linux Alpha application, Microsoft said that the new application -- which is now available for download from Microsoft's Skype community page -- is based on the Skype for Web website, which can currently be used by Chromebook users for placing voice calls. In addition, the new application also works in web browsers on Linux.

Revealing that the new Skype for Linux Alpha application makes use of WebRTC technology for Web browsers, Microsoft said that the application is presently being tested as an eventual substitute for the existing dedicated Skype for Linux 4.3 client software.

Microsoft also said that since the new Skype for Linux Alpha application uses the company's "next generation calling architecture," it can cause problems for users trying to connect with a Skype for Linux 4.3 user, though they will be able to call their family and friends on the latest versions of Skype on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.