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Kim Dotcom, founder of file hosting service Mega, today revealed his company will be launching a browser-based chat service “soon.” Dotcom referred to the service with the hashtag #MegaChat, though he confirmed with VentureBeat that this many not be its final name.

This is not the first time Dotcom has talked about the upcoming service, which gets mentioned every few months but has yet to hit public availability in any form. There is naturally a lot of hype surrounding it, given the increasing importance put on secure communications on the Internet. This time, the entrepreneur is promising the service will be encrypted, browser-based, and offer “high-speed” file transfers:

Back in February 2013, Kim first unveiled that Mega would be expanding into email, chat, voice, video, and “mobile.” We haven’t heard much about the secure email service since August 2013, but the company has since released a few mobile apps, and of course the other three fall into the same category: the upcoming Skype competitor.


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In fact, Dotcom last year named Gmail, Skype, and iCloud as services that don’t offer enough privacy because they are based in the U.S., where the American government can demand access to data under certain circumstances. Since the news today focused on a chat service, he called out Skype again:

In November 2013, the chat service was expected to arrive “in early 2014.” Mega users were supposed to be able to exchange messages in real-time with each other as well as be able attach files to those messages. The company also promised secure audio and video calls.

It’s not clear why it has taken so long to get the service out the door, though we suspect the browser-based requirement could have been a factor. The ability to run a service without having to download a separate application or install a plugin is a great trend, but it does present a few technical hurdles, particularly when attempting to offer end-to-end encryption.

Dotcom urged his Twitter followers to catch a glimpse of the service in this video of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden:

The video was published in September, though, as we’ve noted, this offering has been in testing for many months. We know it’s coming “soon,” but with just three days to go in the year, it looks like this will be a 2015 release.

Update: Dotcom had a bit more to add some 15 hours later.

In other words, we’re expecting some sort of select availability next month.

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