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Ask Rick: Can I use Skype on a Chromebook

// News // Tech1
Google's new Chromebook introduces a lower price for the cloud-based laptops
Google's new Chromebook introduces a lower price for the cloud-based laptops 

I've bought a Chromebook only to find that I cannot get Skype on it. I'm rather disappointed, as I wanted it for my travels to keep in touch.

Andrew Clayton, by email

Currently there isn’t a version of Skype for the Chromebook but apparently they are working on it. In the meantime there are a couple of workarounds now and in the pipeline. The simplest one is to use a web-based service called imo instant messenger, which should already be on your Chromebook (otherwise https://imo.im/). This lets you log on with your Skype account and exchange messages with your contacts, though at the moment you can’t dial out and make voice calls but you can use video chat, (you may need to install a plugin). Microsoft’s new Hotmail replacement Outlook.com (www.outlook.com/), is promising Skype integration in the very near future, possibly the next few weeks. There is also Google Hangouts (http://goo.gl/ujimo), which is an alternative to Skype for audio and video chatting. Whoever you are calling also needs to be using Hangouts but the advantage over Skype is that up to 10 people can join in; you can also share documents and images and it is completely free.

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