Skype is a big deal for Microsoft, and it’s getting some additional attention this week with new mobile features and news of an acquisition.
Microsoft announced Skype is rolling out a free, group video calling feature for Android, iOS and Windows 10 Mobile (the successor to Windows Phone) in the next few weeks. This will eliminate any paid component to this feature, which will be attractive to businesses who want to bring together a group of employees or clients into one conversation.
The update also follows Microsoft’s trend of moving a lot of its services toward a freemium or ad-supported model.
For example, take Microsoft's personal assistant, Cortana. Cortana’s tight integration with Windows 10 may bring you closer to Bing, while the company’s Office 365 service works across all major desktop and mobile operating systems. Skype appears to be another important tool in that kit.
Microsoft Buys Tech from Event Zero
Microsoft was also busy finding new things to buy, acquiring technology assets from Event Zero. The company is a provider of management software for the Skype for Business Online suite.
The move is designed to bolster the enterprise services of Skype as part of Microsoft’s push with Office 365. The new capabilities will bring in more monitoring, reporting and analytics capabilities with Skype.
According to corporate vice president for engineering Zig Serafin partners, “will be able to more easily connect on-premises deployments they manage with Office 365 services, including hybrid deployments, provisioning of phones and other endpoints,” he wrote on the The Official Microsoft Blog.
There is supposed to be more to come in terms of how this will look in day-to-day use, but were just going to have to wait on that for now. Serafin said in his blog post that more details will be available, “in the coming months.”