Microsoft has seen massive growth across its communication tools during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. While Teams has become the go-to workplace collaboration tool, Skype has also seen a Skype for video communication. However, in terms of video conferencing, Zoom has had the biggest gains.
Now Microsoft wants Skype to tap into some of Zoom's users.
Just weeks ago, Zoom was a relatively popular but not dominant enterprise video communication tool. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the platform has become the communication tool of choice for tens of millions. Interestingly, Zoom has even escaped its enterprise leanings and is being used by individuals for personal use.
Since that meteoric rise, the company has faced numerous problems. So much so, Zoom's CEO admitted the company was simply not prepared to become so popular. In March, the app had 200 million active users, compared to just 10 million in December.
— Skype (@Skype) April 3, 2020
Microsoft's Skype is arguably better placed to take the strain as it was already used to handling large volumes of users. In an effort to position Skype as a COVID-19 lockdown alternative to Zoom, Microsoft is talking up one feature.
Spotted by The Verge, the company took to Twitter to discuss a feature that provides users “a simple, hassle-free way to connect with the important people in your life on #Skype, no sign-ups or downloads required”.
Called Meet Now, it is worth noting this is not a new Skype feature. In fact, Microsoft launched the tool back in December. However, Microsoft is now touting the tool as an ideal feature to use during the coronavirus situation.
Meet Now has one benefit over Zoom. Namely, it does not require a host to have an account or download an app. Instead, users create a link and send it to participants through email. These recipients can chat with the host directly through their web browser. They don't need Skype and the host does not need an account.
Microsoft does not usually talk about Skype user figures. However, last week the company confirmed the platform was seeing 40 million daily users in March, up 70% from the previous month. Microsoft Teams recently saw a similar jump and now has 44 million daily active users.