Google has made a name for itself by offering premium features for free, and one such service it provides without any charges is free group video calls on Google Hangouts.
Microsoft had been feeling the pressure for a while now, and has responded in style.
The company has opened up one of its more prominent Skype feature that was previously only available to premium subscribers — users of Windows desktop, Mac and the Xbox One Skype clients can now launch group calls for the sweet, sweet price of free.
Other platforms are set to follow suit in the very near future.
This was detailed in a post on the official Skype blog, with a confirmation in the comments that group screen sharing is now also free:
“While Skype is known for one to one video calling, we know it’s also essential to connect with the groups of people who matter most, whether friends, family or colleagues. For the last few years, we’ve offered group video calling to Premium users on Windows desktop and Mac and more recently Xbox One.
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re making group video calling free – for all users on these platforms. And, in the future, we’ll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms – at no cost.”
Skype can handle up to 10 people in a group video chat, in case you were wondering.
Now while the official Skype apps have made leaps in progress over the past few months, work still remains to completely streamline them for users of the service. This and fixing the various niggles, and we should be pretty much there.