Microsoft Launches a Dedicated Version of Skype for Freelancers as a Standalone App

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Mehedi Hassan in Cloud, Microsoft Consumer Services, Skype with 14 Comments

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.

Tagged with , ,

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (18)

18 responses to “Microsoft Launches a Dedicated Version of Skype for Freelancers as a Standalone App”

  1. Avatar

    matsan

    As a consultant I have to deal with the pains of trying to connect to my clients' Skype for Business accounts. What if I could have and account like this to be "trusted" by my clients and then the experience would hopefully be less painful. Alas, this is yet another (beta+limited preview) US-only service and I wish Microsoft all the best.

    Looks like I'll have to continue using GotoMeeting - that by the way works perfect in Linux.

  2. Avatar

    Bart

    Interesting to see how Skype is getting the "service-treatment". In the old days, there was one Skype client and that was that. Now we see Skype tailored for businesses, consumers etc. One platform, different ways of using it. Clever.

  3. Avatar

    Brian Mueller

    I think this is the right direction for skype. One service with many specialty faces. They should release an API to allow developers to embed skype directly into their app. I think they should have kept Teams under the Skype umbrella as Skype Teams. Skype needs the good publicity that teams has been getting.

  4. Avatar

    tbtalbot

    This is such a great idea! Thanks for the early info and the helpful link, Paul.

  5. Avatar

    maethorechannen

    I'm kind of surprised they didn't use the LinkedIn branding. That seems more fitting than the Skype brand.


    And as always, "US Only, boo, hiss".

  6. Avatar

    Stooks

    Microsoft has simply ruined Skyp/Lync. How many names or versions have they had? How many clients both win32 and UWP? What about moving it to Teams?


    Seriously WTF is "Skype" anymore?????

  7. Avatar

    Chris_Kez

    I'm reminded of Google Helpouts, a service launched in late 2013 to allow users to connect with "experts" to get answers, lessons, support, etc., across a range of topics from cooking to fashion to photography.

    Google figured they had millions of users, ID authentication, a payment system, a scaleable video chat system, and a reputation for delivering knowledge. They must have forgotten they also have YouTube, the world's largest platform for free information videos. Helpouts was shut down in less than two years.

  8. Avatar

    jimchamplin

    Will the new app be on the Windows Store, or will other parts of MS continue to ignore that they have a distribution system already in place?

  9. Avatar

    Jason Honingford

    Google had this service a couple years ago. I forget the name of it.

  10. Avatar

    Stokkolm

    So, it's similar to Zoom, GoToMeeting, or WebEx.

  11. Avatar

    polymath

    karma77police ...I hope industry switches to Linux for desktop computing,


    if you think looking at a platform that was dead anyway as a replacement for windows .. i don't think so. Besides Linux runs on windows 10 platform these days, if your really want that.


    think,,, TOWER > LAPTOP > TABLET > 2 - in - 1 & 360 > new concept designs


    as the physical technology becomes smaller & more powerful combined with 4G and cloud resources, the old idea of a tower/laptop and Linux / windows / os x ,, will change, its all ready happening .


    chrome books are a pointer to the coming future with progressive web apps and web Assembly, the existing "PC's" personal computers and android ios tablets will begin to move from app's to progressive web apps running on chrome, edge, Firefox and safari , these names, not windows, Linux, os x etc, will be the names people refer to.


    google chrome-cast a little 3 inch disk of plastic contains a computer which would have been considered a home computer a decade or more ago. 


    Chromebooks still confuse people, they think of them as a laptop because they look like a laptop,, they are just dumb terminals using some software to render web pages, play music, read a keyboard. all there computing takes place through 802.11ac wifi and fibre cables linking server farms together around the world, the speed of these world wide communications and the server farm computing now comparable to the internal wiring of an old laptop with its local cpu, ram and hard drive. but this has not yet sunk into people's minds.


    skype, was once a clever pice of software designed to cope with the limitations on the internet of the time. This of course is no longer true, its just a name given to a voice/video communications tool. which lots of people use remembering its past. this year Microsoft turned off the software which enabled my skype phone to work. about $150 down the drain. today i received an email saying my skype account with Microsoft was changing .. did i want to keep mu skype telephone number.


    I think Microsoft has a good idea where they are going, they might even get there before google.


    i'm fascinated to see what Microsoft's x86 running ARM, on a system on a chip with always on 4G looks like, combined with edge and cortana, maybe folding eink display and a stylus or two lcd screens. they could really shake the existing "LOOK" of personal computing. 1987, 1997, 2007, 2017,, 30 years. watch below.....


    "Knowledge Navigator" (1987) Apple Computer" https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb4AzF6wEoc 



  12. Avatar

    Bats

    Figures,....Microsoft is late again. This stuff has been done before.


    Google had this service a few years ago and it was tied in with Google+, with the Hangouts name to it. I remember Vic Gundrota was very proud of it. I remember seeing Yoga classes, tutoring, guitar lessons, language lessons, etc....all within the Google+ platform. If I am not mistaken, I think Facebook was doing the same thing.



Leave a Reply