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Skype takes on Zoom with new feature to hide your messy bedroom

Video conferencing
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

With its latest update, Skype has borrowed one of Zoom's best features: the ability to replace backgrounds in your video calls.

Video conferencing is the new normal for office workers confined to their homes, and companies like Google, Zoom, Microsoft and Cyberlink are vying to provide the software for your new social needs.

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Until now, one reason for choosing Zoom, particularly for social calls, has been its ability to replace whatever's behind you (however untidy) with something more interesting than an untidy home office. There's no need for a green screen; the software does a good job of isolating you from your surroundings, even if they're severely cluttered.

Now, however, Microsoft has hopped on the bandwagon, introducing a near-identical feature for Skype to save your blushes. Time to get downloading some stock images of tidy workplaces.

Get the right Skype

There's a catch, though: as Engadget reports, the feature doesn't work with the version of Skype downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Instead, you'll need to download the one available on the official website.

Don't worry, though – all versions are compatible, so you won't miss out on your meetings or virtual pub quizzes.

Cat Ellis

Cat Ellis is the fitness and wellbeing editor at TechRadar. She's been a technology journalist for 11 years, and cut her teeth on magazines including PC Plus and PC Format before joining TechRadar. She's a trained run leader, and enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the pavement. If you have a story about fitness trackers, treadmills, running shoes, e-bikes, or any other fitness tech, drop her a line at catherine.ellis@futurenet.com.