Microsoft is testing a key change to its Skype video conferencing software that could make it more useful. The latest beta version of Skype is now introducing an ability to enter a video call with up to 50 people, a change from the current standard release which has a maximum limit of 25 participants.
Likley aimed at competing with the service Zoom, this new ability could prove useful for companies and other large businesses already using Microsoft’s other Office 365 products. For a less annoying experience, once a call is started in a large group of up to 50 people, notifications will be sent out instead of ringing each individual individually. This means that the workflow of Skype users who are not able to join a large call won’t be impacted. The latest Skype preview version also enables the audio and video buttons on these large scale calls for additional privacy, as well as a notification feature for smaller groups.
If you have enough people to try out this group calling ability, you can head over to Microsoft’s website and download the latest Skype Insider version right now, currently at version 18.104.22.168. You’ll need to be a Windows Insider to download this version on Windows 10, but it also is available on MacOS and Linux without signing up for any beta programs. Once testing is finished with Skype Insiders, you can expect Microsoft to roll it out to the public in the next few weeks or within the month.
Skype has evolved quite a bit since it was first introduced in 2003, and it even recently received a feature which allows users to blur out the background on calls. Now integrated with Windows 10, the service is growing in popularity, and Microsoft continues to work on the overall experience after it acquired Skype in 2011.
It all comes after Apple added a group calling to FaceTime, which currently supports video calls of up to 32 people. Either way, Skype is not the only solution available for video calling. There are plenty of alternate video conferencing apps available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. The list includes Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. There are also several messaging apps which help you chat with your family as well. We have our picks here, and our choices include Telegram, Line, Viber, and more.