Skype finally offers free group video calling


I’ve used IRC, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Skype, and iMessage over the past decade. Next to iMessage, there’s also WhatsApp and Viber that I often use. But for more professional online conversations, I trust and use only Skype. I don’t know but there’s something special about Skype that it’s best to use for work.

Just recently, the instant messaging and telephony service announced that it’s now making group calling free for all Mac, Windows, and Xbox One Live Gold users. This used to be exclusive for Premium subscribers but Skype, under the management of Microsoft, is set to challenge Google Hangouts.

I’ve only tried group video calls over Skype once and I must say I’m impressed as there were no drops and slow connection. We have no idea though if Windows Phone users will be required a Skype Premium account to take advantage of this group calling feature.

Skype Premium asks for a $9.99 monthly fee. It’s a small amount for some but it’s nicer if we use more features for free. The premium plan includes group screen sharing, live-chat customer support, unlimited phone calls, ad-free experience, and of course, group chatting.

Microsoft is actually doing a refresh and has removed the Premium sign-up page. No mention when Microsoft will put it back or if it will just add features or only lower the cost. I hope free this time because Google Hangouts is free.

[via ArsTechnica]

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  • melen001

    Updated Skype to Windows Desktop version and what a slow-poke this is…. it takes for ever to load and close. What have they done to Skype??? The previous version 6.14.104 was doing just fine, fast loading and closing and not even a hiccup what so ever. They really messed up this time. They should have left it alone. Why would anyone change or “fix” something if it’s not broken ??? This new so called Desktop Version is probably written to enhance it’s operation with Windows 8 OS even though it’s for windows 7 also. They forgot the Wins 7 crowd which are more than Wins 8 and just refined Skype for Wins 8. If I could only get back the old Version 6.14.104 I would get rid of this Desktop Version. Don’t like it at all. It’s just to SLOW… takes for ever loading and closing….