Microsoft recently announced a browser version of Skype aimed at small businesses. The service is called Skype Meetings, and it's the company's first web-based product. Skype Meetings will let you video chat with up to 10 people at a time for the first 60 days of use, and then meeting capacity is limited to three people. It also includes some of the more powerful collaboration tools included with Skype for Business, such as screen sharing and PowerPoint integration.
Skype Meetings is very similar to the free version of Skype. Both versions of the software let you video chat with the same number of people and make use of the platform's messaging capabilities. But Microsoft is clearly marketing this version of Skype as a easy, no-frills way for small companies to set up video calls. Its only real appeal over Skype's standard version is the ability to work directly in a browser and the addition of the few features it borrows from the business tier of the product.
The goal is to entice small teams to try out Skype and then upgrade to either the video chat app's more fully featured version or subscribe to an Office 365 business plan that includes Skype. (The company even advertises Office 365 on the Skype Meetings webpage.) As video chatting becomes more and more of a commonplace way to communicate in business, Skype for Business might be worth a look at. I am disappointed at how Microsoft tries to push Office 365 at you but if you can get over the banner ads then take a look at the web version of Skype for Business. After all it is free.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC