As you may have guessed by the name, Skype for Linux Alpha is not a fully functioning Skype client as of yet. We’re sharing it with you now as we want to get it in your hands as soon as possible, so we can continue to develop the new version together. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll notice that it’s very different to the Skype for Linux client you use today. For example, you’ll be using the latest, fastest and most responsive Skype UI, so you can share files, photos, videos and a whole new range of new emoticons with your friends.
As many Linux users may tell you, the current Skype client has been neglected and can’t be used to make calls to over Skype users on the newer versions of the client (on other platforms). There had been a few community solutions to this that were simply a wrapper for the browser based version of Skype. This new client. that is currently in Alpha, makes use of WebRTC which suggests it could just be a wrapper for the web client to provide better desktop integration.
There is also a new WebRTC-based client available as a Chrome app for use on Chromebooks and the Chrome Web Browser. There will also be a new Skype application built upon UWP.