Video: Skype vs WebEx
Last updated: July 17, 2018
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. Skype alternative for enterprise is called Skype for Business. Secure Skype alternatives are Signal and Telegram.
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. WebEx free alternatives are Skype, Google Hangouts. If you are looking for open-source self-hosted WebEx alternatives pay attention to Jitsi and Rocket.Chat.
Face to face in the news:
2016 - Skype adds real-time translation to all VoIP calls to strike back at WebEx
Last year Skype launched built-in Translator that allows to translate speech in real-time. Until now this feature was available only in video chat, but in the new version you'll be able to call people around the world and have your conversation interpreted instantaneously - even if they're using the last remaining rotary phone. When placing a call, users just need to set their language of choice and the tool will take care of the rest. The person on the other end of the line will hear a message stating that the call is being recorded and translated through the service, which will be very clear once the conversation begins. Windows Insider Program members will be the first to have access to the new feature. To date, nine spoken languages are supported: English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic and Russian.
2011 - WebEx adds free version, online office workspace to catch up with Skype
Finally, the most popular Web-conferencing service Cisco WebEx is getting closer to small business. At the Collaboration Summit in Miami Cisco has introduced the new version of Webex and the subscription free plan for 3 people and 250 MB of space. In addition to basic functions (screen-sharing, whiteboard, online presentations, document collaboration, VoIP and instant messaging) the free version also provides video conferencing (but not in HD-quality). Of course, there are several other web-conferencing services that offer free version, but WebEx differs by high quality and extensive functionality. According to the Cisco representatives the free version is already available, but we couldn't find it on the WebEx site. So, let's wait. We also have to wait till Q1 2012 for the new version of WebEx, which includes the very interesting feature - online workspace.
Even before Cisco bought WebEx, it included not only the web-conferencing tool, but also the virtual office WebEx WebOffice. It's an intranet-collaboration SaaS service that includes file storage, tasks, calendar, discussions, contacts, mail and of course it was integrated with WebEx online meetings. Long ago it was the best solution on the market, but then Google Apps, Zoho and others appeared and WebEx WebOffice was lost in the crowd.
Now Cisco is trying to unite web-meetings and collaboration from the other side - to add online office tools to the WebEx web-conferencing service. The next WebEx version will feature the new shell - WebEx Meeting Space, designed for collaboration before and after meetings. It includes activity stream, file storage, online chat, meetings calendar and scheduler. For example, in this workspace you can schedule a meeting, send invitations to attendees, share some files in advance and discuss the upcoming meeting in comments and live chat. And after the meeting - you can upload the meeting video, the resulting documents and discuss the meeting results in the comments.
Here is a video showing how it works.
2010 - Skype comes to Symbian, Blackberry and Android. And to Verizon 3G network to defeate WebEx
As you know, recently the U.S. operator AT&T allowed VoIP applications on iPhone to work over its 3G network. But the 3G version of Skype for the iPhone has not appeared yet. Today it became clear why. On the Mobile Congress in Barcelona Skype with Verizon presented there joint project. Specially for Verizon Skype developed mobile clients for some Blackberry smartphones, and Android smartphones by Motorola and HTC (still Skype worked only on Windows Mobile, iPhone and Nokia Maemo. Yesterday Symbian was added to this list). These devices (with preinstalled Skype) will let Verizon customers to make free Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G, chat and monitor the online status of their contacts. It also allows to make calls through SkypeOut - but only abroad (local US calls will be banned).
Interestingly, Verizon did not always felt such love for Skype. So far, they only criticized Skype and blocked it. And, of course, they don't plan to make good money by selling Internet traffic for Skype-calls. The only reason that made Verizon to abandon their principles is competition with AT&T + Apple iPhone alliance. And that's great, because users win, and it's a further step to free voice communications.