Check Out Skype Bots on Mac, Web

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Why chat with real live friends and family when you can talk to bots, instead?

Three weeks after introducing Skype Bots, Microsoft is rolling out a preview to Web and Mac users. Apple owners can simply tap "Contacts" in the menu, then select "Add Bot" to search for or view a list of available clients. Similarly, Web users can select "Discover Bots" on the left toolbar to see their options. That includes Bing Music, News, and Images, as well as Getty Images and two new Bots—Murphy and Summarize.

Identified by its bespectacled-robot icon, Murphy brings to life "what if" scenarios—"What if Beethoven were a rockstar?" "What if Charlie Chaplin had a really long beard?"

"Some questions can't be answered by words alone, so Murphy Bot will find and create images that illustrate your 'what if' questions," according to Microsoft's Skype description.

Summarize, meanwhile, as its name suggests, gives an overview of a Web page that you don't have time to read—the Skype equivalent of TL;DR (too long; didn't read). Just send a link to the bot to get an abridged version of the document.

Users are currently restricted to interactions through messaging, though Redmond promised future availability for audio and video calling, as well.

Skype bots debuted at Microsoft's Build developer conference last month, when a preview rolled out on Windows, Android, iPhone, and iPad in Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and the US.

"Each Bot will enhance your Skype experience in its own way, bringing a new dimension into your everyday Skype chats by helping turn your ideas and plans into actions," the company wrote in a March blog post.

Redmond also offers a new Skype developer program that lets anyone build their own chatty bots.

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