When a brand becomes a verb, you know it’s a success. And Skype’s success stems from its simplicity and affordability. It works on all platforms like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even Linux. It’s integrated with most Microsoft products, from Office 365 to the Xbox. In fact, it’s so easily accessible that it works inside a web browser. No installation necessary. Signing up is a painless process and the app is simple to use. Just type the person’s Skype ID, and start your call.
Free features include Skype to Skype calls, group video calls, and instant messaging. Skype’s pay-as-you go schemes make it convenient for those who don’t want to burden themselves with regular subscriptions. You can, for example, purchase $10 or $25 credits at a time in order to make calls to both mobiles and landlines anywhere in the world. There are no activation, early termination or shipping fees. And the credits never expire. You can set up your account to automatically refill to the amount you choose once the balance falls below $2. In the long run, this will save you a considerable amount of money.
Skype Meetings is a free feature that enables the user to collaborate with up to 10 people at once (up to 3 people after 60 days) using group HD web conferencing and remote desktop sharing. Access to professional controls such as the ability to mute and unmute participants is available in the US.
Skype for Business
Skype is trying to close the gap between its consumer-based and enterprise services by introducing Skype for Business. You can opt to get the Microsoft Skype for Business plan with an annual fee or the business-grade Microsoft Office 365 plans that contain Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft Sharepoint.
The introductory plan at $5 per user per month offers only group instant messaging, audio, HD video calling, 1 terabyte of data, and access to Microsoft Office’s online-only products.
The handy Business Premium plan at $12.50 per user per month, has more functionality in initiating and participating in meetings using Microsoft Outlook. There are features that allows you to monitor and control participants’ desktops, and keeps participants in a holding area of sorts prior to starting a meeting.
Skype for Business is a comprehensive service that allows HD group audio and video calling for up to 250 participants, online meetings, screen and file sharing, file storage, messaging and 24/7 customer support.
For companies and organizations heavily invested in Microsoft products, Skype for Business may make a lot of sense. With the integration of Microsoft’s Office platform with Skype’s familiar user interface, there’s now a service that’s easy to use and has features that businesses need.
What's the Verdict on Skype?
Skype Review 2020 – Conclusion
While there are better VoIP services in terms of quality and reliability, Skype’s true strength is in its widespread install base on every platform and ease of use. Case in point, just watch major global news networks and they still use Skype for their live broadcast feeds. Even British doctors are able to advise medics in remote villages in Afghanistan via Skype.
Skype also manages to hit the spot for small businesses that need more than just personal VoIP service but may find full-fledged enterprise systems a bit too much. It all boils down to its strong consumer-based brand of service. When it comes to online communications, Skype is the default method because the service makes it so easy to call other users and video chat. Skype may be lagging behind its competitors in terms of business solutions, but it has its staying power in its favor and if it keeps coming up with cool features like Skype Translate, then they could very well be moving in a transformative direction.