Microsoft recently announced free Skype Meetings aimed at small businesses to allow them to collaborate by sharing content and screens along with the obvious audio and video in meetings. This is the functionality that is provided by Microsoft Skype for Business so how is this different?
First and foremost, it is a free Office 365 service but there are some caveats:
- It is for organizations who are not already running Office 365 and they can sign up here.
- An email address is required.
- Support for 10 participants for 60 days and up to 3 people thereafter.
- Internet browser, microphone, speaker and camera.
Once you are setup you can create meetings and share a personalized URL to send to participants via email or scheduled meeting that they can click to join the meeting. Functionality similar to Skype for Business meetings is available during the meeting such as Instant Messaging, PowerPoint presentations, screen sharing and white-boarding. The meeting organizer even has the ability to control the meeting with such features as muting the audience.
These seems like a great opportunity for small business to be able to work with Skype Meetings. Three participants does not sound like a lot but from personal experience you would be surprised that this number addresses the majority of meetings that I personally participate. Try it and find out for yourself. If you find three is not enough you can always move to Skype for Business from Office 365 which allows up to 250 participants in a fully collaborative meeting.