Skype is back, and wants to take on Zoom

Skype Meet Now
(Image credit: Skype)
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The pandemic has seen demand for video conferencing software (opens in new tab) skyrocket as businesses use the technology to work from home (opens in new tab) and students use it for distance learning. 

However, more established services in the field such as Skype failed to capitalize on the recent boom as Zoom (opens in new tab) and other new players in the space took over the market.

While Microsoft's enterprise communication platform Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab) has now managed to attract more business users due to its integrations with the company's other products and its robust security features, Skype has fallen by the wayside. 

Back in April, the software giant tried to give the service a boost with a new feature called Meet Now (opens in new tab) that allows users to join Skype meetings with just a link in a similar way to how Zoom works. With Meet Now, users no longer to need to install software or sign up for an account, thus making it easier to connect with family, friends and coworkers using the service.

Meet Now in the taskbar

In a blog post (opens in new tab) announcing new features in the Windows 10 Insider (opens in new tab) preview build 19042.608 (20H2), Microsoft revealed its plans to extend Skype's Meet Now feature to Windows 10's taskbar, saying:

“In the coming weeks, you will be able to easily set up a video call and reach friends and family in an instant by clicking the Meet Now icon in the taskbar notification area. No sign ups or downloads needed.”

Adding this new capability to Skype's Meet Now makes a great deal of sense as users previously had to have set up a video call using the feature by creating a link in their browser or from the Skype client itself by clicking the Meet Now Button in the left-hand sidebar.

Soon Windows 10 users will be able to set up a video call right from their taskbar (opens in new tab) which should save time and be easier to do, which could end up leading more people to use Skype Meet Now as opposed to another competing video conferencing service.

Via Engadget (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.