Between the Chrome extension, the Chrome app, Gmail, Inbox, and Google+, there are plenty of ways you can sign in to Hangouts while you're at a computer. But maybe you need one more. Today Google has launched hangouts.google.com. You're welcome.
Hangouts' dedicated website provides a single obvious way to access your contacts list and start chatting, as the URL is one you could probably guess. The site lets you open up multiple conversations at once just as you've been doing in Gmail since the dawn of time. You can also start group conversations, place a voice call, or fire up the webcam.
The difference now is that you don't have to keep your inbox open in the background or a sea of social network posts. Instead you can rest your eyes on a regularly changing image. Think Bing.
There isn't much more to hangouts.google.com than that. Keep it open in a pinned browser tab to keep your conversations close. Or close it and stick to whichever of the other umpteen ways to use Hangouts on a PC that you like best.