Microsoft is launching a new version of Skype this week, built specifically for freelancers and business owners. The company is launching the new service, dubbed Skype Professional Account, as a limited preview in the United States.
Skype Professional Account will be a simple and easy way for freelancers and business owners to connect with their customers. The service allows users to schedule meetings, take payments, store notes, and make calls right from Skype. Users of Skype Professional Account will also be getting their own personal profile page where they can showcase their work and connect with new customers. Skype Professional Account will be available as a separate app from the main Skype app, though. Microsoft is building a standalone app for its new service on the desktop, but it’s unlikely we’ll see new Skype apps on mobile.
The idea behind Skype Professional Account makes a lot of sense — a lot of people use Skype to offer services like music lessons, consulting, etc. For years, the experience wasn’t anything close to perfect, and users had to use other third-party services like PayPal and Outlook Calendar to take payments and schedule meetings. With the launch of Skype Professional Account, Microsoft is effectively trying to tackle the problem by offering an all-in-one package. The service makes a lot more sense when you look at the future of the main Skype app, which is slowly becoming more consumer-oriented to take on services like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat.
If you are interested in giving Skype Professional Account a try and live in the United States, you can sign-up for the (limited) preview here.