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You don't need to sign in to use Skype anymore

Microsoft's VOIP service can now be used without an account.

Unless you have Skype configured to boot-up when you start your computer, starting the program, logging in and connecting to a call can be mildly tedious. It's not anymore -- Microsoft just announced a new 'Guest' mode for Skype that makes user accounts almost completely optional. Now if you want to join a Skype call, all you have to do is click a link and enter your name.

Skype as a Guest includes voice and video calling, group instant messaging and screen and file sharing features for up to 300 people per conversation. Users will be given a unique link to share with contacts that instantly open the Skype conversation, which can be made up of more Guests, or fully signed-in Skype users.

So, what's the catch? Not much: conversations expire after 24 hours, and you'll still need to log-in to call a landline or use Skype's live translation features. The account-free mode also only works in's web-client, but those limitations aside it seems to offer all the service's basic free features. Not bad -- particularly if you only use Skype when somebody else asks you to.

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