Microsoft is introducing free Skype Meetings - a new online meetings tool that provides small businesses with real-time audio and HD video conferencing. Skype Meetings includes collaboration features like the ability to share screens and content during meetings.
With Skype Meetings, you can set up meetings and share a personalized URL that participants click to join the meeting. During the meeting, participants can IM, share their screen or PowerPoint presentation or use the laser pointer and whiteboard features. The meeting organizer also gets professional meeting controls such as the ability to mute the audience in order to be heard.
Anyone in the U.S. with a business email address and whose organization doesn’t already have Office 365 can sign up for free Skype Meetings at www.skype.com/meetings. Once you sign up, you can set up meetings for up to 10 people for the first 60 days and up to 3 people thereafter. All you need is a device with an Internet browser, a microphone, speaker and camera, which are included on many devices.
If you have an Office 365 business subscription that includes Skype for Business, then you already have 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. In addition, Skype for Business is integrated with other Office 365 apps to enable you to do things like schedule a Skype meeting from your Outlook calendar, see your colleagues’ presence, and initiate an IM or start an audio or video conversation within apps like Outlook, Word and PowerPoint.