Microsoft has launched a new tool which is designed to provide video conferencing services to small businesses. The name of the tool is Skype Meetings– it renders real-time audio and video HD conferencing and also includes features lie PowerPoint slide sharing and screen. The bare essentials of using this tool are a web browser, camera, microphone and a speaker.
Setting up a meeting is extremely easy because the meeting organizer can share the same URL through an email, instant message, and other modes of digital communication. The participants need to click on the link in order to join the conference. In addition, the organizer of the meeting holds the power to manage the participants. It can mute participants to make sure the meeting goes on effectively.
Skype Meetings is like a mini-version of Skype Business, which can allow up to 250 participants in a single meeting. It can automatically schedule a Skype Meeting if in sync with the outlook calendar. It is included in Office 365 business subscription and can launch a video or an audio call directly from Word, PowerPoint or outlook.
Google Hangouts, which offers a similar array of services, is touted as the direct competitor. Hangouts offer multi-video conferencing as well. Within the first two months of signing up on Skype Meetings, the users can avail the offer of accommodating 10 participants within a video conference. But once the offer period is over, the number of participants’ decreases to three.
It seems Skype is trying to ensure that with the help of Skype Meetings, it can attract the small businesses and motivate them to purchase Skype for Business, which offers better features and functionality in terms of video conferencing. Users can avail all the features at a cost of $2.40 per user for a single month. For Windows, Skype for Business was launched in April 2015.