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Microsoft Stops Charging for Skype Group Video Calling
Posted on Apr 29 2014 03:52 AM by xper in Software

The company loosens restrictions on Skype's group video calling feature, enabling multiple Mac and Xbox users to chat simultaneously.
Microsoft has set group video calling on Skype free, allowing users to conduct virtual face-to-face chats without paying extra.
The software giant announced on April 28 that group video sessions are now enabled for users of the free version of Skype on Windows, Mac and Xbox One. In the past, the feature was available only to users of the paid Skype Premium service.
Users of the company's mobile apps will have to wait a bit longer. "And, in the future, we'll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms—at no cost," informed Phillip Snalune, general manager of Skype consumer marketing, in a blog post.
The move will also have an effect on how Skype plans are branded. Before now, Skype Premium offered perks including group video calling, unlimited calls and screen sharing.
On the Skype Premium homepage, Microsoft stated that since "group video calls are free for everyone, we've removed Premium to give it a refresh."

Skype is now referring users to its subscription plans. "But don't worry, you can still call phones worldwide at great low rates," said Snalune.

The move could help Microsoft on its campaign to make the already-popular voice over IP (VoIP) and video conferencing platform even more ubiquitous. The software giant acquired Skype and its hundreds of millions of users for a whopping $8.5 billion in 2011. Skype now ships as part of the standard bundle of apps included with Windows 8.1 and the Xbox One console and will soon be included in the Windows 8.1 update.
Source: eWeek

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