New Insider Build Brings Meet Now to Windows 10

Posted on September 23, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 20 Comments

Windows Insiders in the Dev channel received a new build today that adds a feature called Meet Now to the Windows 10 taskbar. Since the Dev channel isn’t attached to a specific Windows 10 version, this feature could appear in Windows 10 version 21H1 at the earliest, assuming it ever appears at all.

“Meet Now [in Skype] makes it easy to connect with anyone in as little as two clicks for free and each call can last up to 24 hours,” Microsoft explains in the announcement post. “Today, we’re excited to share that we are extending this capability in Windows 10 by bringing Meet Now right to the taskbar. You can now easily set up a video call and reach friends and family in an instant by clicking on the Meet Now icon in the notification area (system tray) of the taskbar in Windows 10. No sign ups [sic] or downloads needed.”

The bad news? You guessed it: The decision-makers over in the Insider team have once again put a major new feature in A/B testing, so you might install this build and not even get it. Microsoft says, “Rest assured they [sic] will be gradually rolled out to everyone in the Dev Channel.”

There is another major change buried in the overly-long Insider post: Microsoft is removing the standalone People app from Windows 10, though it can still be accessed via Mail and Calendar going forward.

“With most of the launches of the People app coming directly from within the Mail and Calendar apps in Windows 10, the People app no longer appears as a standalone app in Start,” the firm notes. “It remains as an inbox app and can be launched to manage your contacts from the button in the Mail and Calendar apps.”

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Comments (20)

20 responses to “New Insider Build Brings Meet Now to Windows 10”

  1. Cdorf

    I was hoping Ignite would be the big feature drop that has been lacking.... sigh

  2. anderb

    Can it be configured to launch Zoom instead? Can it be uninstalled?

  3. johnlavey

    For me, the stand-alone people app never made any sense from a practical point of view.

  4. ghostrider

    This is a very underhand, sneaky move by Microsoft. Basically, embedding the Teams client in the OS, designed purely to edge out Zoom and Slack from the marketplace. This is MS abusing their power of having a desktop monopoly.

  5. jbinaz

    I tried using Skype the other day (consumer, not Skype for Business) to remotely help my daughter set up her new computer. Unless I missed it and my Google search is wrong, you can't remotely control a computer with Skype. Ended up using Zoom instead. So dumb. This must be a "don't piss off our partners" type of thing.

    • anoldamigauser

      In reply to jbinaz:

      You can use Quick Assist, instead of Skype. Generate a code, call your daughter and give her the code. She launches Quick Assist, enters the code, and her screen will be shared and you can drive if need be.

      It's built in and that is what it is for. That said, I just tested Skype, I think the built in version, and it did include a screen sharing option. It may not do so with the web version.

  6. waethorn

    I never understood the reasoning behind taking an address book out of your email app. What is the percentage of people that use a computer address book to look up contact information when they're not using email?

    • SvenJ

      In reply to Waethorn: The 'address book' is not just for e-mail. It is also the basis for phone directory, finding on maps, Skype (or the like). It is the list of your People, for whatever interaction you want. On a PC, you may be right. Most of the time it is associated with e-mail. That same list, on your phone, is accessed by way more apps. Granted, I expect most open the app and then select a person, but it comes from Contacts/People.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Based on this, it's very small.
    • pachi

      In reply to Waethorn:

      It should be integrated with Mail for auto fill.

      there’s more info in a contact than email. I look up physical addresses all the time. Or a phone number etc. the two thing are separate why are they trying to combine them

  7. pachi

    Maybe if they called it Contacts instead of a hip name more people would launch it.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to pachi: I doubt it. Just me but I notice I don't even have People pinned to my start menu and I am on a Go in Tablet mode. If it isn't on the Start menu, I don't even think about it. I think they are right, 98% of the time (for me) Contacts/People only come up if I am sending mail or adding them to a calendar entry. Even on my phone(s) going into the contacts app is way less frequent than opening the activity I want, mail, phone, facetime, skype, and selecting a person from there.

    • ebraiter

      In reply to pachi:

      Confuse with "Contacts" found for Emailing.

  8. gabbrunner

    It's clever, if it works well - this is Microsoft! But it's in the Notification Area where it has no right to be as an action button.