Microsoft announced a new tool which is similar to its own Skype app. This free browser version of Skype is released for small business. The tool is named as Skype Meetings which now makes video calling common even in small businesses. This tool offers a real time audio and HD video conferencing which lets you join with up to 10 people for first two months and then it is limited to 3 people later.
Skype Meetings allows you to share screen shots and also allows Power point collaboration which include screen sharing, laser pointer etc. Unlike Skype for Business which requires Office 365 subscription, you can join Skype meetings with a personalized URL. Skype meeting organizers have some basic controls like ability to mute the audience in order to make it clear.
The calls on new tool are powered by the same technology used in traditional Skype calls. The tool is currently accessible to any US user with a business email address.
Microsoft with this new smart business tool challenges Hangouts which Google has built into its office tools. The tool also competes with this year launched Sean Parker’s Airtime and Houseparty from Meerkat. These two new apps are more focused on social video chat but not on business users. To get started with the Skype Meetings, all you need is an internet browser, a microphone, speaker and camera.
If we look back at the Microsoft’s Skype Business, it was announced in the year 2011 for $8.5 billion. With Skype for business you can organize a large group meeting for up to 250 people and initiate an IM, audio or video conversation from built in apps like Outlook, Word and PowerPoint.