Skype has something new for small businesses.
The Microsoft-owned service has launched Skype Meetings, a free online tool offering real-time audio and HD video conferencing. The service also provides a number of collaboration features such as the capability to share screens and content during meetings.
“With Skype Meetings, you can quickly set up meetings and share a personalized URL that participants click to join the meeting,” Skype for Business general manager Andrew Sinclair said in a blog post.
“During the meeting, participants can IM, share their screen or PowerPoint presentation or use the laser pointer and whiteboard features to make it more engaging and productive. The meeting organizer also gets professional meeting controls such as the ability to mute the audience in order to be heard.”
Upon signing up for the service, business owners can set up meetings for up to 10 people for the first two months. After that the meetings will be restricted to three people.
Skype Meetings is available to anyone in the U.S. with a business e-mail address — but only if the firm does not already have Office 365.
Those with an Office 365 business subscription are not eligible because Skype for Business is included in the suite of tools and products. According to Sinclair, Skype for Business offers “richer online meetings capabilities, such as the ability to conduct large group meetings for up to 250 people and the ability to IM anyone in your organization at any time—not just during meetings.”
To get started, go to www.skype.com/meetings. All that is required to use Skype Meetings is an Internet browser, a microphone, speaker and webcam.