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Mozilla Blocks Skype In The Firefox Browser

by Sean P. Aune | January 21, 2011January 21, 2011 12:00 pm PST

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, has placed a “soft block” on the Skype toolbar in all versions of the program.

It isn’t very often that you hear about Mozilla having to block anything from being used in the Firefox browser, but it does happen often enough that there is a Blocklist page to aid you in keeping track of everything.  It’s a fairly short list, so I guess you could call it exclusive.  Unfortunately for popular VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provider Skype, they have been added to that exclusive club.

Mozilla announced yesterday that it was placing a “soft block” on all versions of the Skype toolbar.  This means that the extension is now turned off by default, but each user has the option of turning it back on if they so desire.

The reason for this turn of events is the feature where phone numbers in a Web page are turned into clickable Skype call buttons such as you see in the image in this post.  These buttons allow a user to click them and a call is automatically via the Skype desktop application.  The toolbar for Firefox comes with the program when you download it, so chances are if you have Firefox and Skype both installed on your computer that you’ve seen these buttons.

Apparently the problem is these buttons take 300 times as long to render as similar functions, resulting in a Web page loading slower than it should.  It has also led to some 40,000 reported crashes of the Firefox browser in just the past week alone.  This is what made Mozilla decide it was time something needed to be done about it.

Skype and Mozilla are reportedly working closely together to figure out the issue, and as soon as they do the soft block will be lifted from the add-on tool.

What say you?  Have you had Skype cause any issues in Firefox?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...