Skype vs WebEx
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include instant messaging, file transfer, and videoconferencing.
Web conferencing lets you connect with anyone, anywhere, in real time. WebEx combines desktop sharing through a web browser with phone conferencing and video, so everyone sees the same thing while you talk.
Latest news about Skype and WebEx:
19.04.16. Skype voice and video calls now work plugin-free in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft is making Skype in the browser plugin-free, but for now - only in Microsoft Edge. Other browsers, including IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari, will continue to require plugins as before. This includes Outlook.com, Office Online, and OneDrive, all of which, along with Skype for Web, will now support real-time, plugin-free voice, video and group calling when you’re using Microsoft Edge. The company has been more recently working on ways to allow anyone to join a Skype chat, even if they don’t have an account. Skype for Web was one easy way to connect these invitees to your chat session, but installing browser plugins could slow down that experience. Now when those users are on Edge, they can just click a link and start chatting.
16.03.16. Skype for Web now supports calling to mobile phones, landlines. Browser-based Skype for Web is getting a slew of new features that brings it more in line with its desktop and mobile counterparts – most notably the added ability to dial mobile phones and landlines. To make calls to mobile phones or landlines from the browser, you’ll need a subscription or Skype credit, as on other platforms. Then, once signed in, you can click on the phone call tab, pick a destination, and dial. Besides, the web version also now allows you to bring non-Skype users into a conversation easily, introduces notifications, and lets you watch YouTube videos in Skype for Web itself.
20.01.16. Skype integrated with Slack. The new Slack integration allows team members using Slack’s real-time communication software a way to quickly start Skype voice or video call from within the Slack application. Once installed, kicking off a Skype call is as simple as just typing in “/skype” into the Slack chat interface, which will then display a join link. On the desktop, you’ll only need a web browser plugin, while on mobile, you’ll need to download the Skype mobile application onto your smartphone. Slack team members can also join as guests on a computer, or they can sign in using their Skype name or Microsoft account information.
15.01.16. Skype adds free group video calls to mobile apps. Skype announced the launch of free group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 mobile devices. The feature has been available for a couple of years on the desktop, for both Mac and PC, but had yet to make its way to mobile. Once it's live, the update will allow Skype users to make video calls with as many as 25 participants for free. While Skype has supported group video calls for some time, the feature was previously available only to those who subscribed to Skype for Business (though the free apps have supported group audio calls.)
16.06.15. Skype for Web is available globally. Skype has opened its web-based client beta to the entire world, after launching it broadly in the U.S. and U.K. earlier this month. Skype for Web also now supports Chromebook and Linux for instant messaging communication (no voice and video yet, those require a plug-in installation). To get at the Skype for Web Beta, just head to either web.skype.com or Skype.com and login when prompted. Based on my limited experience with the beta, it works as advertised, and now that Chromebooks get IM support, it should be a lot more useful to people looking to travel light and cheap and stay connected from wherever they want to communicate, with or without their own PC.
08.12.14. Microsoft enabled video calling between Skype and Lync users. Last year Microsoft enabled Skype-Lync interoperation with text messaging and audio. Today, the video integration also becomes available. Skype users can now video call contacts on Lync, and vice versa, Microsoft announced this morning. To use the now cross-platform video calling feature, you don’t have to do anything differently from before – you just kick off the call the same way you do today. However, video calling is supported only on an up-to-date Lync 2013 client on Android, iOS or Windows and on Skype for Windows desktop. Skype is now working to expand this integration to more platforms, starting with iOS and Android. The change follows a series of deeper integrations between the two products, the latter of which will be rebranded “Skype for Business” sometime in 2015.
15.11.14. Microsoft launches Skype for Web. Skype has brought its instant messaging, voice and video chat service to the browser with a new beta available now. For now it requires you to install a small plug-in to get voice and video calls, but Microsoft promises to bring Real-Time Communications (RTC) support, so you'll be able to use it without any plug-ins. Skype for Web works on Chrome for Windows, IE, Firefox or Safari. Chrome on Chromebooks and non-Windows platforms can use Skype for Web for instant messaging, but not yet for voice and video because the plugin hasn’t been configured for them yet. Skype had already come to the web in one form thanks to a plug-in for Outlook.com launched globally earlier this year, which enabled text, video and voice chat through the company’s web-based email inbox service.
11.11.14. Microsoft will rename Lync as Skype for Business. Microsoft will rebrand its enterprise communications solution Lync as Skype for Business in 2015. The change will see Lync’s interface harmonized to something close to the current Skype’s interface. Skype for Business won’t be available until next year. Lync won’t fold into Skype entirely — instead, it will remain a separate application. I saw a demo of an early version of the Skype for Business client last week, and it certainly did appear to be quite similar to how Skype looks now. Users in Skype for Business will able to call regular Skype users from the application. The rebranding fits with Microsoft's strategy to "re-invent productivity" for all, not just business. To that end, it wants to offer a unified experience across services, so consumers and businesses have similar experiences.
13.10.14. Skype 7 refocuses on chat. Skype has introduced new versions of its desktop clients: Skype 7 for Mac and preview of Skype for Windows now share the same design. The Skype redesign mimics Skype on mobile and will definitely take some getting used to on the desktop, but once you grow accustomed to the big aesthetic changes, the small functional ones are what really impress. For instance, now in your chat window you’ll be able to view shared image files instantly in-line once they download, instead of having to click a little icon to view or preview them. The Windows versions has increase spacing between your contacts list and your chat and there are message previews for things you haven’t read yet, so you can get a quick look without even switching between chats.
13.06.14. Skype 5.0 for iPhone looks cooler, works faster. Microsoft has launched Skype for iPhone 5.0 with major redesign and performance tweaks. The updated app looks very similar to Windows Phone. It features ribbon navigation bar at the top and on the bottom - a pair buttons that put the two most used-features based on context at thumb-point. The performance seemed significantly improved: Lag was almost imperceptible, and when there were slight delays they were ameliorated by fluid animations. The new Skype client makes it easier to start group chats and it also syncs notifications across devices — even if the recipient isn’t logged into Skype when the message is sent. The increased emphasis on text messaging makes sense, especially as startups and established companies strive to be the one messaging app to rule them all.
29.04.14. Skype makes group video calls free. Until now, group video calling in Skype was available only in the premium accounts, which cost $8.99/month. Now this feature will be available for free so you'll be able to organize unlimited online meetings with up to 10 participants. For a while the free group video calling is only available in the desktop version (Windows and Mac) and on Xbox. Soon Microsoft will add it to the mobile versions (iOS, Android and Windows Phone). This video shows how to start a group video call. Recall that not so long ago one of Skype's competitors - GoToMeeting also launched free video chat for 3 participants.
05.03.14. Skype for Outlook.com now available worldwide. The opportunity to make video calls via Skype right from your browser is now available for all Outlook.com users (previously this feature was only available in US and UK). In fact - this is Skype's web version, however, it doesn't mean that you don't need to install software on your computer. You still need to install browser plugin. But the plus is that you don't need to create a separate Skype-account. You just need the universal Microsoft account. Besides the global expansion, Outlook.com now can make video-calls in HD. Thus, Microsoft's Outlook.com is playing catch up with Google's GMail, that already has video calling feature via Google Hangouts. However, the advantage of Google's service is that it supports free group video calls for up to 10 people.
2013. Skype gives free group videochat and screen-sharing for 2014. Skype (or Microsoft ?) team from time to time invents some strange projects and tries to link them to Skype. For example, a year ago they tried to launch the social network Skype In The Workspace. And earlier this month they created Skype Collaboration Project. It's a site for creative people where they can get closer to the industries they love, get inspired and get on ... blah blah blah ... Victoria Beckham ... blah blah blah. At least, this project resulted in the substantial benefit: in order to draw attention to this site Skype is running the great holiday promotion. Anyone who visit Skype Collaboration Project and enter email, can get Skype's premium account features for the whole next year. It includes group video chat, screen-sharing and no advertising.
2013. Skype Video Messaging is generally available for free. Despite all expectations, Skype didn't lock video mail (introduced in winter) in the premium version. Today Skype announced that this new feature is out of beta and is available to all users for free. In addition, video messaging becomes available in Windows-client and Blackberry app (at first it only worked on Mac, iOS and Android). Only Windows Phone users remain disadvantaged. How to use Skype Video Messaging? Watch the video.
2013. Microsoft connected Lync and Skype. Almost 300 million people around the world use Skype. This is a very large customer base, that's why many companies add skype-address to their contacts in order to offer customers a convenient communication channel. But in large companies using Skype at the workplace - doesn't fit the corporate security policy. Therefore, the integration of Skype with Lync communication server can become a breakthrough for deploying Skype in large companies. And thus Microsoft can get a significant competitive advantage over Cisco, Avaya and other enterprise communication vendors. That's was the main reason why Microsoft acquired Skype for a lot of money.
2013. Skype comes to Outlook.com. Finally Microsoft begins to integrate Skype into its products. The main competitor Google already for a long time provides the chat with voice and video in the email service GMail. Therefore from the Microsoft's side (having the Skype) it would be a crime not to add the same functionality into the Outlook.com. And that's exactly what they done. True, for now this feature is only available in UK and only in few weeks it will appear for the rest of us. To enable chat, voice and video calls in your Outlook.com inbox, you'll have to install the browser plug-in (for Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox) like in the GMail. You can use Skype with your existing Microsoft account, so you don't have to create a new account. If you already have a Skype account, you can link it to your Microsoft account - your Skype contacts will appear in your contact list and you can call or message them directly from Outlook.com.
2013. Promarket - industrial classifieds on top of Skype. Recently Skype started the strange attempt to create a business social network (or community) Skype In The Workspace. Now another startup Promaket is trying to create something similar. And it looks like their version make more sense. At least, in Promarket the communication space is divided by industry and focused on buy/sell transactions. For example, if you are selling fish, you enter the Fish chat and spam other fish-traders with your offers, or read their offers. Chat can be filtered by different keywords or by subject (buy / sell). And if you find an interesting offer - you can contact its author via private chat or make a Skype call.
2012. Skype In The Workspace - Microsoft wants to make a social network based on Skype. Looks like Microsoft has an overload of ideas on what to do with Skype, and these is no one who can kill these ideas in time. The new service called Skype In The Workspace is a combination of social network and a freelance marketplace for entrepreneurs and small businesses. There you can post opportunities (or projects) and invite people to discuss them. Of course, the discussions are hold in Skype. According to Microsoft, the service has been tested for 6 months, and now it comes out of beta. But it looks very primitive, incomplete and still haven't gained any popularity among uses. Although, there is one interesting thing in it - the authorization. It's possible not only via Skype ID, but also using your LinkedIn credentials (and no other options). So, this is one more addition to rumors that Microsoft may acquire LinkedIn.
2012. Microsoft replacing Windows Live Messenger with Skype. Glorious 12-year history of Microsoft's Windows-messenger is coming to the end. The company begins transition of 100 million Windows Live Messenger users to Skype (which currently counts 280 million users). The latest version Skype 6.0 (for Windows and Mac) already allows to login using a Microsoft account. After doing so, Messenger contacts are brought over as well. Now it's interesting whether the quality of communication in Skype will suffer after such a significant increase in user base. According to numerous users, Skype quality has already started to degrade in recent month, probably because of Microsoft's manipulations for integrating Skype into its products. Recall, Microsoft acquired Skype last year for $8.5 billion. Later it turned out that Microsoft, paid billions because of its senior executive, Joe Williams, who ran the Microsoft Lync business, believed that Skype was going to eat Microsoft’s lunch in the enterprise.
2012. Skype + Windows Phone 8 = ideal communication device. Skype has never been a complete communication app for smartphones. At first because of the lack of multitasking, then, because it didn't work in the sleep mode, and then, because Skype quickly drain battery. But in the new operating system Windows Phone 8 (which was released yesterday) all these problems are solved. While Microsoft didn't dare to inbuild Skype in the desktop version Windows 8 (to avoid antitrust problems), no one stopped the company of making Skype an integrated part of the mobile OS Windows Phone (at the hardware level). It's fully integrated with phone contacts and allows to receive calls in the same way as calls via the regular GSM network (of course if you have internet connection). So now, buying Windows Phone, you are buying not just a mobile computer, but also an ideal terminal for free/cheap communication.