In November 2014, Microsoft announced the beta version of Skype for Web, a service that would allow the users to access their accounts using their computers’ browsers. Recently, the developers said that Skype for Web is available for the US and UK citizens, which can access their accounts from any computer.
Skype was created by Janus Friis (Dane) and Niklas Zennström (Swede), in collaboration with Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn (Estonians), which launched it in 2003. Two years later, the company was purchased by eBay for the sum of $2.6 billion, then in 2009, 65% of Skype was bought by Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which paid $1.9 billion. In the end, Microsoft became the new owner of Skype, after spending $8.5 billion on its acquisition, in May 2011.
Since then, the application went through constant changes, being improved over time. Not only PC owners had access to it, but smartphone users as well. Skype can be installed on any device that runs on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Windows, Mac, Linux, Nokia X, Fire OS, Xbox One and PlayStation Vita, and has a bunch of features, such as video chats, conference calls and free screen sharing between 25 people.
WhatsApp came only in 2009, and its ascension happened quickly. It had the same fate as Skype, being bought by Facebook in 2014, for the sum of $19 billion, and in only one year, the developers added many features that convinced many people to install the application. Back in 2014, WhatsApp had 500 million active users, now it has 800 million, and every day, around 1 million people are registering.
But, let’s go back to the comparison between these two applications. While both support voice calls, Skype offers VoIP calls, meaning that the users can call landline and mobile numbers, while the WhatsApp users can call only their friends who installed this application.
But, after Microsoft announced in November 2014 the addition of the web version to Skype, WhatsApp rushed to bring this feature at the end of January 2015. The difference is that to access the WhatsApp account from a computer, the users must run the application on their smartphones and to scan the QR code from web.whatsapp.com.
Skype Web can be accessed from any website, as the users need to visit web.skype.com and enter their Skype Name or email and password.