Skype's for Web does not support Firefox - gHacks Tech News

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Skype's for Web does not support Firefox

Firefox users who try to open the web version of Skype in the Firefox browser run into a wall currently because Microsoft claims it is not supported.

If you try to open the page in Firefox or any other non-Chromium-based non-Microsoft Edge browser, you are greeted with a "browser not supported " message.

Update: this has been going on for about 2 years apparently.

According to the message, Skype for Web supports only Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. Microsoft asks users to either use one of these browsers -- or other Chromium-based browser without stating so explicitly -- or use the desktop program instead. A link to the desktop version of Skype is provided.

skype firefox web not supported

Skype for Web is available as a preview currently, and it is possible that Microsoft will unlock it for other browsers, e.g. Firefox by Mozilla, when the web service exits the preview phase. It is equally possible that Microsoft won't do so.

Microsoft does not reveal why Firefox is not supported. It is likely that Microsoft checks the user agent of the connecting browser and uses it to determine whether users get the "browser not supported" message or access to the Skype for Web preview.

Firefox users who change the browser's user agent using to that of a supported web browser, e.g. Google Chrome, won't receive the not supported message but can use the service just fine.

skype preview firefox

Note: I did not test all features and it is possible that some features may not work in Firefox due to technical limitations. It is equally possible that everything works and that Microsoft blocks Firefox for other reasons.

This is not the first time that major companies limit access to websites to certain browsers; Google has the habit of limiting new services to Chrome first before it makes them available to other browsers. Microsoft limited access to certain services in the past as well.

Closing Words

There are two main reasons why companies limit access to web services to certain browsers:

  1. because of technical limitations.
  2. because they want to push certain browsers.

Has Microsoft's decision to switch Microsoft Edge to the Chromium engine in 2019 something to do with the decision? I contacted Microsoft to find out more about the blocking of Firefox but have not heard yet back.

Now You: What is your take on this?

Summary
Skype's for Web does not support Firefox
Article Name
Skype's for Web does not support Firefox
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Firefox users who try to open the web version of Skype in the Firefox browser run into a wall currently because Microsoft claims it is not supported.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. ShintoPlasm said on January 30, 2019 at 5:31 pm
    Reply

    Tried to make a Skype call on Firefox with changed UA, nothing works… So I guess this really is designed specifically for Chromium browsers. Another nail in Mozilla’s sad coffin…

    1. Nomad said on January 30, 2019 at 8:10 pm
      Reply

      That’s so odd… there is no lack of support in Firefox for what the service does provide, I.e. Firefox does support WebRTC etc, so the issue here are just lazy developers behind that site? Anyway, Firefox users can use mega.nz’s chat integration with audio & video calls support plus E2EE which perfectly does work cross-browser (a.k.a. The upcoming Skype Killer :))

      1. Anonymous said on January 31, 2019 at 4:09 am
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        Class action suit. Wake up Europe (the US government certainly won’t do it, Google is the CIA).

    2. Bachi said on January 30, 2019 at 9:52 pm
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      Another nail in Skype, not Mozzila.

      1. ShintoPlasm said on January 31, 2019 at 7:25 am
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        No it isn’t. It’s Mozilla and Firefox who end up being shunned because users want websites to work without a hitch.

      2. Sumo said on January 31, 2019 at 10:45 am
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        If a site doesn’t work (e.g. because of ad blocking) I just leave the site.

  2. 420 said on January 30, 2019 at 5:33 pm
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    Doing me a favor, now I can’t accidently use their pos software. Skype was cheap and worked well with my skype phone until MicroShaft bought Skype and ruined it like everything else they touch or buy. Fucking Assholes.

  3. foolishgrunt said on January 30, 2019 at 5:35 pm
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    My first thought when I started reading this: Firefox supports WebRTC, shouldn’t changing the user agent unlock it? You proceeded to answered this.

    My second thought: how likely is it is that Microsoft only wants the service to work with their current Edge browser and the browser that it will become in the future (Chromium-based). You proceeded to ask the same question.

    Thanks for the article and the heads up. :)

    1. Emanon said on January 30, 2019 at 6:31 pm
      Reply

      It doesn’t work on Firefox even if you change the useragent, just because you can bypass the warning and login doesn’t mean it’s working.

      You can’t even make calls which is a main feature of Skype, so no, this is not working on Firefox at the moment and has nothing to do with blocking access just for blocking access.

  4. chesscanoe said on January 30, 2019 at 5:45 pm
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    Skype for Desktop version 8.37 shows “People you may know” which IMHO is a privacy issue.

  5. Pierre said on January 30, 2019 at 6:07 pm
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    Ah merde alors…
    Anyway I no longer use Skype

  6. Anonymous said on January 30, 2019 at 6:22 pm
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    Current version is not limited but it will be deprecated and the version described in article will be used.
    Skype for desktop is Electron application which is html/css/js on chromium so it is not strange that they limited preview version. However, if they continue blocking Firefox when it replaces current version, then they truly are jerks.

    1. Doc said on January 30, 2019 at 7:17 pm
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      The current Skype for Desktop version I’m using (which updated last week) is 8.37, which is a 32-bit Windows GUI application (and is probably not an Electron app). It was built with Visual Studio 2017 v14.16. AFAIK, the “new” Skype is a UWP (Universal Windows Platform) app, which is why it was missing things like custom ringtones and ringing on speakers + headsets for a few versions.

  7. Anonymous said on January 30, 2019 at 6:51 pm
    Reply

    Just stop using anything Skype, it’s proprietary and Microsoft property, and if that’s not enough, it has been publicly exposed before as spying on users.

  8. FOSS Libre said on January 30, 2019 at 6:56 pm
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    That’s what you get when Corporations push their ideas onto the customers. Soon everyone will be pushed forcefully on the latest version of anything (with data hoarding enhanced)… Did you change the homepage from GOOGLE dot COm to ABOUT:BLANK ??? H-how dare you?

  9. Bobo said on January 30, 2019 at 7:06 pm
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    I replaced Skype/WhatsApp etc, with WIRE a long time ago. Never been happier.

  10. Peterc said on January 30, 2019 at 7:50 pm
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    I switched to Wire, where communications are (supposedly) encrypted end to end and (supposedly) inaccessible even to the folks that *run* Wire. I’m not involved in anything shady; I’m just tired of having everything I do and say online get intercepted, analyzed, and stored for someone else’s profit or leverage. I’ve run into a few glitches, with both the Windows desktop and Android smartphone versions — and that NEVER happens with Skype, right? /s — but by and large, Wire works quite well, and I think its voice quality is actually superior to Skype’s. The biggest challenge is getting your contacts to install it. None of the people I’ve convinced to switch to Wire have regretted it. It’s *nice* to be able to talk freely, even just about mundane things, without the Vole and Big Brother listening in and recording — a feeling that is becoming increasingly elusive.

    Still, even though I don’t personally care what happens to Skype anymore, I *am* interested to find out exactly why the Web-version demo doesn’t work with Firefox. May I offer a guess? The Skype team started out by coding exclusively for Google Chrome, like *every other Web app and site developer* nowadays. Then they adapted it to the current, moribund version of Edge, because as a Microsoft-owned outfit, they *had* to. And that was good enough. *Maybe*, like Netflix, they’ll try to make it *kind* of work in Firefox from time to time, but so long as it works in Google Chrome and Microsoft’s future Chrome-based browser, why bother? It’s not like any public antitrust enforcement authorities are going to come after them for conspiracy to maintain and extend a monopoly, right? And really, why would they?

    NSA: “Uh … we like Google Chrome.”
    FBI: “We like Google Chrome, too.”
    CIA: “So do we! I mean, we can neither confirm nor deny that we like Google Chrome.”
    GCHQ: “What they said.”
    MI5 & MI6: “Ditto.” ;-)

    1. Bobo said on January 31, 2019 at 7:39 am
      Reply

      Somewhat related to this: My friend was in a long-distance relationship with a girl and they used Yahoo Messenger to communicate. Well, grownups as they were, things got a bit “steamy” in a videochat between them. My friend said “there we were, having the time of our lives, when a f*****g POP-UP window appears, saying “THIS SERVICE IS NOT FOR PORNOGRAPHY” and the connection was cut!” Needless to say, they both felt damn violated and embarrassed, knowing that there’s some fat, donut-munching American watching what they do in private. I believe they switched to Skype after that, but you know..HOW do you know the same thing isn’t going on there too? If the company is American, it probably monitors you. So, as far as I know WIRE is the most secure option today. Am I 100% certain? Nope. But it’s not an American company =) ..or Russian.. Doesn’t matter if you want to show your cat to grandma or your bazooka to your babe in the Bahamas, NOBODY has the right to snoop on that.

      1. ShintoPlasm said on January 31, 2019 at 9:23 am
        Reply

        Not sure there was a ‘fat American’ watching those video streams for two reasons:
        1) These types of things are typically outsourced so it’s more likely to have been a skinny Bangladeshi or Indian… :P
        2) More seriously, if the story is true then it’s far more likely to have been one of those automatic algorithms which recognises ‘skin’ or certain language patterns in the chat, like they’ve been trying to implement in Facebook.

      2. AnorKnee Merce said on February 1, 2019 at 5:06 am
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        @ Shintoplasm

        Please provide the specific sources to back up your 2 reasons.

  11. rswrc said on January 30, 2019 at 8:03 pm
    Reply
    1. Peterc said on January 30, 2019 at 9:23 pm
      Reply

      @rswrc: Well, it *doesn’t* run in *Pale Moon*, and I must say, I am shocked. *Shocked*, I tell you! ;-) But if you enjoy watching a little ball go ’round in a circle forever, then Pale Moon is *your* platform of choice for Skype for the Web. Clearly, Pale Moon’s developers are having trouble keeping up with all of the new standards and protocols Google and its poodles have been imposing… (Pale Moon is *still* my favorite browser, so don’t jump on me, fellow PM fans. And you know what? I was able to reach Skype’s sign-in page in Basilisk, so there’s hope on the horizon.)

      1. Ascrod said on January 30, 2019 at 9:57 pm
        Reply

        Pale Moon is built with WebRTC disabled, by design. Basilisk is built with it enabled.

      2. Peterc said on January 30, 2019 at 10:40 pm
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        @Ascrod:

        I appreciate the clarification. I’ve run into a bunch of sites that won’t load or run in Pale Moon but that *will* in Basilisk. I wonder how many of those incompatibilities are due to WebRTC. I can’t bring to mind *any* of them that would obviously require real-time-chat support in order to be perfectly functional.

      3. Anonymous said on January 31, 2019 at 6:27 am
        Reply

        @Peterc
        There’re many things that are not supported/disabled in Pale Moon like WebRTC, and DRM suppport. You can’t open site that need DRM enabled like Spotify. The dev said Basilisk is experiment browser only

      4. Peterc said on January 31, 2019 at 5:46 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous:

        There’s also no obvious need for DRM on any of the sites I’ve had trouble with, so it must be one or more of the “many other” things that are unsupported or disabled in Pale Moon. The question in my mind is whether any of those unsupported things are truly necessary or better or whether instead, they are simply locking out non-GAFAM-approved browsers that do a better job of protecting user privacy and control. [GAFAM = Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft] Some commenting systems work perfectly in Pale Moon; others don’t. Some shopping sites work perfectly in Pale Moon; others don’t. Some “customer portals” (for businesses and government agencies) work perfectly in Pale Moon; others don’t. I find that curious.

    2. VioletMoon said on January 31, 2019 at 6:27 pm
      Reply

      Hmmm . . . perhaps, but the fine print indicates an apocalyptic vision:

      “Support for this version of Skype for Web is coming to an end. A new preview version is available now for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome with HD video calling, call recording and much more.”

  12. slumbergod said on January 30, 2019 at 8:29 pm
    Reply

    The terrible treatment of Linux users by m$ over the years and their appalling Skype version made me stop caring years ago. There are plenty of applications that do work in Firefox and Linux so Skype will never land on my pc again.

  13. Chris said on January 31, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    I guess I’ll never use Skype as long as MS continues this policy. OK with me.

  14. Luis said on January 31, 2019 at 7:25 am
    Reply
    1. ShintoPlasm said on January 31, 2019 at 9:08 am
      Reply

      That doesn’t work in FF, have just tried.

      1. Luis said on January 31, 2019 at 12:35 pm
        Reply

        Strange!

        -again:

        about:config

        -create string:

        general.useragent.override

        copy:

        Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/46.0.2486.0 Safari/537.36 Edge/13.10586

  15. ShintoPlasm said on January 31, 2019 at 8:48 am
    Reply

    I can confirm that this doesn’t work in Opera (macOS) either, even with UA set to Chrome 72. Not sure what *Opera* could be missing in terms of support as it’s built on Chromium… This is a deliberate (or utterly lazy) strategy from Microsoft, as per usual.

  16. Pedro said on January 31, 2019 at 10:35 am
    Reply

    Well, fuck Microsoft then. I won’t move from Firefox for the foreseeable future. The browser is evolving at a nice pace, I like the UI and there’s plenty of addons.

  17. Weilan said on January 31, 2019 at 12:36 pm
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    Miscroshit were bitching Google made YouTube not work with Edge, but now they’re doing the same thing to Firefox.

  18. Kevin said on January 31, 2019 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    Well recently someone at MS said that Mozilla should abandon Firefox and switch to being a Chromium fork, like Microsoft themselves are about to do with Edge. Maybe this is just their way of accelerating the process (of driving Firefox out of the market) along.

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-guy-mozilla-should-give-up-on-firefox-and-go-with-chromium-too/

    If the big two (Microsoft and Google) start wielding their massive market share and common Chromium base like an axe in order to push what little competition still exists out of the market, groups like the FTC should investigate and punish them accordingly.

    1. Peterc said on January 31, 2019 at 6:25 pm
      Reply

      @Kevin:

      “[G]roups like the FTC should investigate and punish [Microsoft and Google] accordingly.”

      Don’t hold your breath. Public antitrust enforcement, particularly against the biggest and most powerful monopolies and oligopolies, is all but dead in the US, the result of legislative and regulatory corruption and capture and a federal judiciary dominated by the Federalist Society. Maybe the European Commission’s Directorate-General of Competition will look into it. *Maybe*.

  19. John IL said on January 31, 2019 at 9:46 pm
    Reply

    Sort of unfortunate circumstances for Firefox these days. Will only get worse as Microsoft adopts Chromium for Edge. Really leaves Firefox going it alone and the end result given there already dwindle market share will only get less and less attention from developers.

  20. John Fenderson said on February 1, 2019 at 6:11 pm
    Reply

    “What is your take on this?”

    It’s no loss to me — I stopped using Skype once Microsoft bought it and made it no longer peer-to-peer, thus rendering it not trustworthy.

  21. vincent456 said on March 7, 2019 at 11:35 am
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    My first thought was the obvious “Muh Microsoft is making forced promotion on Edge and Chrome”. However I changed my mind when the article said that faking user agent doesn’t work either. So I guess it’s just that the latest Skype does not support firefox technologies and is crapply coded.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 7, 2019 at 11:50 am
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      One has to consider on whether Microsoft made an effort to bring Skype to Firefox and whether that is possible based on supported APIs and standards.

      1. shinedowness said on March 7, 2019 at 3:39 pm
        Reply

        Anything that is owned by Microsoft such as Skype, Google, Amazon, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram the messaging app, etc. will probably give you a crappy user experience sometimes while they are all used for the government to spy on you. Meanwhile, Microsoft keeps you trapped into compatibility issues with Firefox because Firefox claims it tries its best for privacy friendly techniques despite you needing to tweak Firefox software after you installed it since it does not have a privacy friendly environment 100% after you install it since it works with advertisers like Google. So, Firefox has bowed down to Google somewhat. The only reason why Microsoft forces people to use Skype with Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and other Chrominium-like browser is because Microsoft is tied with the government and Firefox prevents them from tracking your device when you tweak Firefox to make it seem like you are using a different operating system from tweaks and extensions. This does not interest greedy and stupid Microsoft that ruins everything it touches.

  22. sigy said on March 9, 2019 at 11:32 am
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    I was aware of microsoft wanting to restrict skype to their browsers , and thereby collecting user data they should not have ! But this also proves that applications like firefox ( mozella ) are no longer independent . Formally apps had all their dlls and exes in their app and used just the very basics of windows , thus they have crossed all the ” windows ” episodes and still work today .
    Now back to firefox . You say that Firefox users who change the browser’s user agent , might have a chance to use skype ; what u dont say is how to change the browser’s user agent !!
    As it is , i see only a dark future for app developers , as its already clear that microsoft will restrict any software they dont like .

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 9, 2019 at 8:04 pm
      Reply

      @sigy, several extensions handle changing Firefox’s user agent; one I know for having used it is :

      User-Agent Switcher
      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/user-agent-switcher-revived/

      You can check the browser’s user agent on a site such as https://whoer.net/ (Section : Browser) and you’ll see that the extension has correctly modified the user agent as perceived from both Headers and Javascript.

  23. Gabriele said on April 26, 2019 at 4:50 am
    Reply

    latest skype for web needs media.peerconnection.enabled
    i only shared my bad experience, to someone that can find this useful

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