Mozilla To Block Skype's Browser Toolbar – Skype Responds, Recommends Upgrading

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Daily Crunch: Little Big Tech Edition

Yesterday evening, Mozilla announced that it would be blocking the Skype toolbar add-on in all versions of its Firefox browser.

While this concerns an impending ‘soft block’, meaning users will be able to re-enable the add-on if they choose to do so, Skype is keen to point out users should always install the most recent version of its desktop client in order to avoid compatibility issues.

The VoIP company also says they’re sorry about the problems, and are diligently working with the Mozilla crew to iron out any remaining issues as fast as possible.

The Skype Toolbar for Firefox, which comes bundled with the Skype client, is a browser extension that detects phone numbers in Web pages and re-renders them as clickable buttons, cutting shorter the time it takes for people to call those numbers using the Skype app.

Mozilla claims the current shipping version of the Skype Toolbar is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week alone and could potentially make DOM manipulation up to 300 times slower (and thus significantly slow down the rendering of regular Web pages as well).

Skype’s official statement on the matter:

Based on our initial investigation, we know that downloading the new client will fix for most users any compatibility issues, and we are working with Mozilla to ensure that there are no other compatibility issues. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused our users.

Users can download the latest Skype client with the latest included Toolbars OR the latest toolbar installer itself is here.

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