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Microsoft Announces Free Skype Meetings For Small Businesses


Microsoft Announces Free Skype Meetings For Small Businesses In US

Microsoft has introduced a new, free tool aimed at providing video conferencing services to small businesses. Named Skype Meetings, it permits real-time audio and HD video conferencing along with features like PowerPoint slide sharing, whiteboard features and more. All that’s required to use the service is a device with a web browser, speaker, a microphone, and camera. The new feature also has a whiteboard function and laser pointer to add productivity and make the presentation more engaging. 

Skype Meetings will provide the user’s ability to share screens over the conference calls. Different members can join in on a Skype meeting using a personalized URL that can be rapidly set up for a conference call.

Microsoft's regular Skype product now allows group video chat with up to 25 peoples, whether on mobile  or PC. There's also new competition via Sean Parker's Airtime and Houseparty from Meerkat, however, those apps are more aimed at social, not business users. But, those products along with existing ones like Google Hangouts, may have prodded Redmond to issue the browser app.

Meetings will be able to handle up to 10 people, for the first 60 days.  After two months, Skype Meetings will only work with up to three people. It would seem that Microsoft is hoping the free Skype Meetings will support push small businesses toward allowing for Skype for Business, a more feature-filled video conferencing tool that prices $2.40 per user per month.

Skype has developed a great deal since being picked up by Microsoft. However, the audio and video conferencing software have faced hard competition from Google Hangouts which contains deep integration with Google’s office tools for free.  

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