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July 06, 2016

Small Businesses Rejoice: Skype Meetings Is Just For You

By Steve Anderson
Contributing Writer

Exciting news recently came out for small business owners. Though there hasn't been a lot to be excited about on that front lately, what with economic and geopolitical turmoil the order of the day, there's some good news from Microsoft (News - Alert). The company recently brought out a free browser-based version of Skype known as Skype Meetings, and Skype Meetings will give its users access to a panoply of exciting communications tools.

Skype (News - Alert) Meetings represents the first Web-based product released since the beta version of Skype for Web back last year, and will give users a look at just what the fullest version of Skype for Business can do. Users will be able to video chat with as many as 10 participants at once for the first 60 days, and then after that, the number will be limited to three. Screen sharing is also on hand, as is PowerPoint integration, some of the more useful tools from Skype for Business.

Those who note that Skype Meetings sounds a lot like regular free Skype aren't alone. Some have noted that video chatting is likewise limited to three people in free Skype, and both tools will use the various messaging functions that Skype pulls in. About the only thing that really separates the two, reports note, is that Skype Meetings will work from a browser while free Skype is its own separate application.

There's no shortage of video conferencing apps out there. A recent entrant from former Napster co-founder Sean Parker called Airtime offers video chatting, and Google (News - Alert) Hangouts is still available at no charge. A host of other apps are in play for this, and Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) tools are still in play and delivering value for those who want easy connections from a browser. Some have gone so far as to suggest that this is just Microsoft's attempt at reminder marketing, letting users know that Skype is still available.

Reminder marketing is commonly defined as a series of short messages designed to tell the viewer what he or she already knows: that a certain product is still out there, it offers a great value and it has a certain set of features. It's just what the name suggests it is: a reminder. Reminder marketing typically has greater frequency than other types, but shorter duration, as it's just designed to deliver a familiar message to a public that's so inundated with messages that anyone could forget just about any one in particular.

It's a smart idea; Microsoft needs to cut through the background noise and a “free product” is a great way to do that. It may not make a big impact on the market as a whole, but it will likely get some new users and remind the public that Skype is still a thing.




Edited by Alicia Young

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