Microsoft has been facing Zoom in a battle for video chat/collaboration supremacy this year. With Microsoft Teams, the company is charting a path between Slack and Zoom and creating an all-in-one meeting and workplace collab environment. However, the company also wants general meetings to become easier.
With that in mind, Skype’s Meet Now feature is now being baked directly into Windows 10. Currently testing in Windows Insider Preview Build 20211, the tool allows native video conferencing directly in the platform.
Meet Now came to Skype earlier this year, but users needed to run the tool through the Skype app.
With the new integration, users can bypass needing to open Skype first. Instead, Windows 10 users can begin video calls by creating a share link through a button in the OS’ taskbar notification section. Neither the host nor the recipient need to have Microsoft accounts to access meetings. This gives Meet Now a handy advantage over Zoom.
When an attendee enters a meeting, it will open in either the Skype desktop or web applications.
While this is certainly a nice feature, it is not the Zoom killer that some would have you believe it is. For example, Skype remains a hassle if you want to have multiple people in a meeting. Some tools, such as muting participants are lacking in nuance (they can simply unmute themselves), and Skype does not have enough host tools.
Still, for people connecting for 1:1 meetings, the Meet Now feature will make it much easier.
For Zoom-busting features, Microsoft Teams remains the best bet. However, there’s no doubt baking in a hassle-free way to access Skype meetings in Windows 10 is a nice touch. As this tool is currently in preview, it won’t arrive on the platform proper until Windows 10 21H1 next year.