Microsoft has launched a new web version of Skype, its popular voice and video calling app.

Skype for Web is designed to enable users to make calls from all the popular web browsers. It works with Windows Internet Explorer 10 as well as with the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari 6 and above.

“Skype for Web makes it quicker and easier than ever before to connect with friends, family and colleagues around the world, for free – directly from Skype.com,” reads a company blog post.

“It’s perfect if you prefer using the web rather than an app: perhaps you’re sitting at a computer that doesn’t already have Skype downloaded. Or maybe you’re on the go and using an internet cafe or hotel computer whilst on vacation where you can’t download Skype at all. Using Skype for Web makes it more convenient to get to your conversations.”

So, now you don’t have to download an app to start chatting with friends or family. Simply go to the Skype for Web site and sign in to start instant messaging directly from your browser.

If you are already using the Skype app, you can sign in at Skype.com  to view your contacts and latest conversation history.

Microsoft said the technology is a first step to making web RTC or Real-Time Communication a reality.

“In the future, using Skype on the web will become even easier and convenient. Imagine you wanted to meet your child’s teacher, or conduct an online interview with a potential candidate – you’ll be able to chat over Skype directly from a browser in just a click. With web RTC, there won’t be any downloads or installs – you can just get straight to your conversation.”

To get started, however, you’ll need to install a small plug-in to start making calls. After that, there will be no need to upgrade or download any additional software.

Skype for Web will be gradually rolling out worldwide in the following months. In the meantime, Microsoft will be sending invites to a small number of existing and new users to start with. Look out for that invite when you log in to your Skype account on Skype.com!