Microsoft today announced a free online meeting tool called Skype Meetings that provides small businesses with real-time audio and HD video conferencing, including content- and screen-sharing capabilities.
Aimed at those small businesses that have not yet adopted Office 365, Skype Meetings provides the following benefits:
Free meetings for up to three people. But for the first 60 days, you can set up meetings with up to 10 people.
Collaboration tools. Skype Meetings provides screen share, PowerPoint share, laser pointer and whiteboard functionality.
Professional meeting controls. The meeting organizer can mute the audience in order to be heard, Microsoft says.
Works universally. As long as you have a PC or a device with an Internet browser, microphone, speaker and camera, you can start and participate in Skype Meetings.
As you might imagine, you can gain more functionality by paying for a business version of Office 365, which provides online meeting functionality with up to 250 people and the ability to chat with anyone in the organization at any time, and not just while in a meeting.
“In addition, Skype for Business is integrated with other Office 365 apps to enable you to do things like schedule a Skype meeting from your Outlook calendar, see your colleagues’ presence, and initiate an IM or start an audio or video conversation within apps like Outlook, Word and PowerPoint,” Microsoft explains.
Skype Meetings is free for anyone in the U.S. with a business email address. If you don’t already have Office 365, you can sign up at the Skype Meetings web site.